Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jon Butcher

Jon Butcher - Positively The Blues - 1995 - Blues Bureau

If you like the blues rock style of Pat Travers, and Eric Gale, you will like this album. All the tracks are well written, and reminiscent of his early solo albums and his work with Barefoot Servants. Butcher's music has a great traditional blues/rock fee on this albuml, from grinding slow blues to intense shuffles. Buy his great "Stare At The Sun" album for more electric blues rock.


Cadillac Limousine
Clean-Up Time
Taxman Blues
Union Hall
Honey Bee
Here I Am
20 Years
I Hate Myself
At the Feet of the Master
Two Penny Nail
High Heel Shoes
Sail On

All tracks composed by Ben Schultz, Jon Butcher.


Ben Schultz (Keyboards), (Slide Guitar), (Guitar)
Jon Butcher (Dobro), (Guitar), (Vocals)


After contributing to two Blues Bureau compilations, Jon Butcher signed with the Mike Varney-led specialty label in 1955 and released Positively the Blues. As usual, Butcher sings and plays with supreme confidence and conviction on this, his first full-length foray into the blues genre. Energetic Chicago- and Texas-style numbers like the opener, "Cadillac Limousine," have a distinctive rock sheen that fans of Butcher's earlier work will recognize and enjoy. The swinging "Union Hall" almost matches the soul and dexterity of blues godhead Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the Hendrix/Vaughan-influenced "At the Feet of the Master" is probably the standout cut on Positively the Blues, as the track features some of Butcher's most incendiary guitar work on record. Listeners who are fond of the bluesy classic rock that Butcher specialized in during the '80s will definitely appreciate this powerful and emotive effort. © Vincent Jeffries, All Music Guide


Jimi Hendrix disciple Jon Butcher achieved some moderate chart success in the mid-'80s as the singer/guitarist for the Jon Butcher Axis. Coming out of the Boston club scene in the early '80s, the Butcher Axis (which also included members Chris Mann on bass and Derek Blevins on drums), issued such albums as 1983's self-titled debut, 1984's Stare at the Sun, and 1985's Along the Axis (Butcher dropped the Axis for such releases as 1986's Wishes and 1989's Pictures From the Front), opened for local Boston heroes the J. Geils Band in addition to other harder-edged bands, and issued a few singles that enjoyed some success on radio and MTV -- "Wishes," "Goodbye Saving Grace," and "Life Takes a Life." Butcher continued issuing solo albums in the '90s -- Positively the Blues (1995) and Electric Factory (1996) -- while a hits compilation (1998's The Best Of: Dreamers Would Ride) and an archival concert (1999's King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents) were also issued. In addition to his musical career, Butcher founded the Electric Factory Recording Studio, which focuses primarily on film, TV, and multimedia work. © Greg Prato, All Music Guide


Jon Butcher is an American singer and guitarist. He was born in Alaska. Jon Butcher cut a path through the Boston rock & roll scene when his Johanna Wilde band started making some noise as a terrific mainstream act. In the early eighties Jon formed Jon Butcher Axis, which consisted of Butcher (guitar and vocals), Chris Martin (bass) and Derek Blevins (drums). The band were requested to support J.Geils Band on their American tour. It led to a major label contract. In 1983 the band released their firsf album Jon Butcher Axis. The album reached #91 in Billboard Pop Albums chart and Jon’s video for Life Takes A Life was one of the first, by a black artist, to receive airtime on MTV. The following album Stare At The Sun (1984) managed to reach only #160 on the album chart. In 1985 Jon Butcher Axis moved to Capitol Records and released Along the Axis. A song on that album, The Ritual, earned Jon a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Singles and videos were released for The Sounds of Your Voice and Stop. Sounds of Your Voice was the only Billboard Hot 100 hit reached #94. The following releases, Wishes (1987) and Pictures From The Front (1989) were simply under the Jon Butcher name. Wishes was Jon’s most successful album reaching gold status. In 1991 the Jon Butcher Axis ceased to exist. Jon spent the 1990’s on several projects. In 1994, he led a group called Barefoot Servants, which released a self-titled album on Epic Records. The band included Leland Sklar (bass), Ben Schultz (guitar) and Ray Brinker (drums). Barefoot Servants 2 was released by ATOM Records in August 2005. Drummer Ray Brinker has been replaced by Londoner Neal Wilkinson. In the mid 90’s, Jon released two solo blues albums, Positively The Blues and Electric Factory. 1998 saw Razor & Tie issue The Best of Jon Butcher – Dreamers Would Ride. In November 2000, Jon released a CD via his web site - A Long Way Home. A Stiff Little Breeze was issued in 2001, Jon’s first project with the independent label ATOM Records. This CD resurrected the Jon Butcher Axis name. 2002 brought an additional Jon Butcher Axis release, An Ocean in Motion – Live in Boston 1984. Jon’s first DVD video release came in 2004. Live At The Casbah was filmed in December of 1984 at a club in Manchester, NH. It contains several songs never released on any Butcher album and songs from Jon’s first three Axis releases. Jon’s spends a great amount of his time scoring music for television and film. Some recent projects are doing music for the HBO series Deadwood & A&E’s The Life and Times of Wild Bill Cody. © www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Jon-Butcher

Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime

Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime - Troublemaker - 2003 - IREN Records

Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime have become one of the leading acts on the Russian blues scene. In April of 2002 the band released their debut album, "Heavy Steppin." It received good reviews and has received much international airplay. "Troublemaker" is now regarded to be one of the best Russian blues records, and was included in the Top 25 albums of the Austrailian "Blues Beat" program in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, the band went to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge, astounding listeners at the Blues City Café with their terrific covers of "I Am Ready" and "Dirty Girl", they then rocked the house with blues originals such as "Don't Miss Your Train", and "She's Dangerous." This is a great blues album, highly recommended by A.O.O.F.C, and yet again, proves that the blues is a universal musical language.


1.Troublemaker (A.Shomakhov)
2.I am ready (W.Dixon)
3.Dirty girl (Jimmy Vaughan)
4.T-bone shuffle (Walker)
5.Tick-tock (A.Shomakhov)
6.Don't miss your train (A.Shomakhov)
7.I don't know (A.Shomakhov)
8.She's dangerous (A.Shomakhov)
9.Give me a sign (A.Shomakhov)
10.In the cold light (A.Shomakhov)
11.Troublemaker (slight return) (A.Shomakhov)


Arsen Shomakhov - guitar, vocals
Aslan Zhantuyev - Bass
Sultanbek (Bek) Mamyshev - drums
Grigory Martirosyan - tenor sax 3, 5, 10


I have for sometime now been searching for good blues and blues/rock artists based out of the old Soviet Union, as this is one of the areas not well represented on our web site. While my search has up to now been fruitless, I am pleased to announce that I now have two that I will be recommending to you. The first comes via an excellent tip from one of our readers who sometime back alerted me to the outstanding work of Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime. Arsen Shomakhov is a world class guitarist, and at least based upon his work on "Troublemaker", very much an electric blues guitarist. While most of the modern blues/rock guitarists demonstrate more of a Stevie Ray/Hendrix flavoring, Shomakhov manages to blend these two influences with a huge dose of T Bone Walker, creating a most enjoyable sound. He is supported on this set by the outstanding rhythm section Ragtime comprised of Aslan Zhantiuyev on bass and Sultanbek (Bek) Mamyshev on drums. The 11 tracks on the CD are 8 Arsen Shomakhov original tunes combined with 3 well chosen covers, demonstrating that Shomakhov is also a very capable song writer. The CD is well engineered, varied in tempo and style, contains some of the better electric blues instrumentals I have heard, and in general is excellent from beginning to end. The set opens up with the stinging electric blues number (and Shomakhov original) title track and just continues to build momentum throughout. Along with the title track, some of my other favorites include a wonderful remake of Aaron Walker's "T Bone Shuffle", the fabulous electric blues tune "Give Me A Sign", and a great instrumental track "Don't Miss Your Train". But, as mentioned before, this is a CD well worth consuming from beginning to end. If you are a fan of guitar driven electric blues style music, "Troublemaker" is going to be a MUST OWN for you. "Troublemaker" from Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime receives my highest possible recommendation to you. This is a brilliant artist whose career I will be watching closely and one from whom I expect to see and hear great things in the future. The CD is available online from our good friends at CD Baby (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/shomakhov). You may also visit the band online at www.arsenic.blues.ru. © Tom Branson, Bluesrockers, October 2005

If this were a word association game and I had to respond to "Russia", my impulses would probably lead me to say "Khrushchev", "Cold War", "Communism", "Drago" (Rocky IV), "Vodka or "Red". The word "Blues" would never enter my mind........until now that is. Interestingly enough, had this been the era of the cold war, this CD would have been delivered to me by the FBI instead of the USPS. OK, enough of my idiosyncrasies and on to the music. RAGTIME is a band that has made quite a name for themselves on the Russian blues scene, and now they are being discovered by the American Blues Community. They recently created quite a stir in Memphis, TN as representatives of "blues.ru" at the International Blues Challenge. The band is led by singer/songwriter ARSEN SHOMAKHOV on guitar and vocals and the rest of the band consists of ASLAN ZHANTUYEV on bass, SULTANBEK "BEK" MAMYSHEV on drums and as a guest on several tracks, GRIGORY MARTIROSYAN on tenor sax. The band chose three very well known covers - "I AM READY", "DIRTY GIRL" and "T-BONE SHUFFLE" - to compliment the eight outstanding originals by ARSEN on "TROUBLEMAKER". I compliment their decision to do this and I compliment their choices of covers as well. Doing covers by Willie Dixon and T-Bone Walker requires a bit of guts. Do them bad and you leave a sour sound in some purists ears, automatically making it hard to like the rest of the CD. On the other hand, do them well and you make a statement. RAGTIME made a statement. The band is secure enough with their musical talent to feature four instrumentals and I enjoyed every one of them. "TICK-TOCK" is a slightly progressive, slightly funky number which features lots of great bass by ASLAN. "DON'T MISS YOUR TRAIN" is a hot, fast paced track featuring ARSEN and SULTANBEK putting on a two man show on guitar and drums respectively. To say "SHE'S DANGEROUS" is an all out jam would be putting it mildly. This one features all three of these fine young musicians absolutely on fire. "I DON'T KNOW", in addition to the three previously mentioned covers, is one of the originals on which ARSENS vocals can be appreciated. For a relatively young man and one whose roots do not stem too deep into the genre, he sings the blues with the confidence of a Chicago veteran. His guitar playing also highlights this one. The title track, "TROUBLEMAKER", closes as well as opens the CD. This track shows several different styles of ARSEN'S guitar playing abilities and clearly establishes this fine player as a true guitar virtuoso. His is a name that, one day, could become a household name in the blues community. Too bad, that forty years ago, our countries didn't use blues musicians as ambassadors. Had they, the Cold War would have been non-existent. © Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, Blues Editor at Mary4Music.com October 2005

Unlike their debut album, the new album of Arsen Shomakhov and Ragtime contains only three covers. The choice itself is quite unusual. "I Am Ready" is a common song in the repetoire of hundreds of blues bands around the world. Arsen has a difficult task to find his own approach to this well-known song; he put aside the aggression of the original and turned it into a viscous and captivating shuffle. Another cover, "T-Bone Shuffle", is not over-played in Russia, but its original version is too well-known. One has to be impudent to choose a song so much associated with the classic, but the way the band plays the song is far from being impudent. Instead, it is full of implicit passion. And the third cover is Jimmie Vaughan's "Dirty Girl", a soft and tasteful improvisation in the manner of cool swing. The whole album represents an original mix of blues shuffles, funky rhythms and jazz concept of improvisation. Arsen sings without accent; also, unlike many of our Russian blues guitarist-singers, Arsen has a very good voice. The album is a high quality blues product, which is so rare for Russian blues. The CD cover made by the guitarist's wife, Zhanna Shomakhova, adds a final stylish touch to the release. Russian experts say that Arsen Shomakhov's blues possess virtuosity, novelty, and high emotional expressiveness. Looks like Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime are going to become big. "Troublemaker" © Andrei Evdokimov (Russian blues journalist)

Arsen Shomakhov hails from Russia and "Troublemaker" is his new 11-track CD album. In his home country he is widely reckoned to be the Number 1 hotshot Blues guitar slinger...on hearing his playing for the first time you soon recognize that you are listening to an extremely accomplished player. Arsen lines up one track each by Willie Dixon, T-Bone Walker & Jimmie Vaughan...the remaining 8 cuts are his own compositions, a mix of songs and non-vocal pieces. Notable by their impact & presence are Aslan Zhantuyev (bass) & Sultanbek "Bek" Mamyshev (drums) with very tasteful tenor sax on 3 tracks by Grigory Martirosyan. From swing to shuffle to dirty funk, Arsen Shomakhov & his band have all bases covered. I predict that folks further afield will soon begin to experience Mr. Shomakhov's soulful delivery. "Troublemaker" © Charlie Gray (bluesfreepress.org.)

Being a blues radio DJ for 10 years, you get some great artists that seem to "raise the bar" a few notches, and when you thought you'd heard it all, along comes this Russian bluesman, who goes right over the top. Such is young Russian blues player Arsen Shomakhov, and Ragtime. Blues for me is "feel it in the guts" stuff, and from the first track, that's exactly where it got me. Not only can this guy write great new blues material, but sing it, and put his brand on it as well. Two albums I received, and they haven't left my player (except for airplay). Now, we all know blues is world-wide, boy, and aren't we glad. Russian blues has given us Arsen Shomakhov! If you're still a "non-believer", check out some "sound bites" on his website, and your ears will thank you for it. Arsen, my man, go forth and multiply, more music of this calibre will only enhance the way people perceive our great genre of music that we call "BLUES"... "Troublemaker" © Terry Iredale (blues radio DJ, Australia)

When the blues had its humble beginning in the Mississippi Delta, who would have imagined that its journey would take it to international places like Russia? Don't expect jazz piano from this proficient trio, but rather innovative blues-rock with sophisticated influences. Throughout eleven songs, you will hear everything from rollicking Texas shuffles ("Don't Miss Your Train") to contemporary jazz-fusion ("In the Cold Light"). Arsen Shomakhov's 44-minute release features eight originals and three covers. His versions of "I'm Ready" and "Dirty Girl" are fresh, and welcome you to listen up. The latter is used as a framework to showcase sizzling guitar. Shomakhov seems less inhibited on the original numbers. With five instrumentals, it is obvious he is more comfortable just playing his guitar. This triad comes with a refreshing approach. Their primary focus is the enticing guitar and distinct-ful songwriting of Shomakhov. Perhaps there is too much acknowledgement of Shomakhov's Texas influences, yet you can't deny his controlled guitar work is full of feeling. This Russian doesn't impress with muscle, but rather with substance. Missing your favorite Russian NHL hockey stars this season? Let these comrades cure your blues. "Troublemaker" - © Tim Holck (journalist, Canada, "Blues Beat")


Arsen Shomakhov is a songwriter, singer and guitar player from Russia.brbrArsen Shomakhov Russian guitar player, singer and songwriter Arsen Shomakhov formed the blues band Ragtime (after the E.L. Doctorow novel) in 1991, and after relentless rehearsals in the non-blues town of Nalchik, they subsequently became one of the leading acts on the Russian blues scene. In 2001, their participation in the St. Petersburg Neva Delta Blues Festival led to a series of gigs at the best blues venues of Moscow. April of 2002 saw the release of their debut album, “Heavy Steppin’”, which led to gigs at venues such as the legendary B.B. King Club in Moscow. The album received good press and enjoyed international airplay. A performance at the All-Russia Spring 2003 Blues Festival in Moscow prompted an invitation to the first International Moscow Blues Festival in September of 2003. That same month they released their second album, “Troublemaker”, which they presented at the renowned Forte Blues Club in Moscow in December of that same year. “Troublemaker” is now considered to be one of the best Russian blues records, and was included in the Top 25 albums of the Australian “Blues Beat” program in 2003 and 2004. In February of 2005, the band traveled to Memphis to participate in the International Blues Challenge under the auspices of “blues.ru”, the Russian blues community. Listeners at the Blues City Café were stunned as Arsen tore the place up with his original songs, “Don’t Miss Your Train”, “Too Hot”, and “Dangerous”. To use the American vernacular – he killed. Arsen's third album, "Dangerous", was released on the Blues Leaf label in February of 2006, documenting this young player's ever-expanding prowess on both the guitar and in crafting original songs. Featured on playlists such as "ElectricBlues” and “Blue IceWater” Radio, Arsen continues to impress the West as a talent to watch. His move to Moscow in early 2007 places him at the center of Russia’s white-hot blues scene – the sparks are already flying, and it’s going to be a very good year. © http://radio.artistopia.com/Music/Artists/Bio.asp?ID=1351



Dice - Dice - 1978 - Belle Antique

Dice was a Swedish band, who were very respected among musicians. Their music is often compared to Gentle Giant and ELP, although not as innovative or sophisticated. They have not existed as a band since the start of the '80's, but they still have a quite a large cult following. "Four Riders of the Apocalypse" is worth a listen, if you like bands like Focus or Yes. The music follows a theme of sorts, with reprises and repeated rhythms. A more detailed bio of Dice can be found at http://www.dicemusic.se/Reviews.htm


1. Alea lacta est (6:13)
2. Annika (3:47)
3. The utopian suntan (5:51)
4. The Venetian bargain (7:49)
5. Follies: (22:03)
a) Esther
b) Labyrinth
c) At the gate of Entrudivore
d) I'm Entrudivorian
e) You are?
f) You are.....


Per Andersson / drums, percussion, chorus
Robert Holmin / lead vocals, saxes, chorus
Leif Larsson / keyboards, Mellotron, chorus
Örjan Strandberg / guitars, chorus
Fredrik Vildö / bass, chorus


Swedish band with excellent instrumental skills, but their songwriting did unfortunately never get better than ok. Their sound seems sometimes to be quite Gentle Giant influenced. The arrangements are great with lots of mellotron, organ and tasteful sounding synths. But as I said, their songwriting is never something really outstanding. The best tracks here is probably the not so very serious "The Utopian Suntan" and the instrumental "The Venetian Bargain". The 22-minute "Follies" has its moments, but some parts are simply extremely boring. And the vocals are rather weak, with a strong accent. The best thing about this album is the cover, which mixes influences of Salvador Dali and Walt Disney!But if Dice had written better compositions, then they really could have been a recommendation. © 1998-2007 vintageprog.com www.vintageprog.com
Dice were a superb, if little-known Swedish band from the late '70s; they only released one album in their lifetime, and neither of the above are easily available, even now. Four Riders was a mono demo recorded around 1977, remixed for stereo in the '90s. All instrumental, it is a superb piece of work; full-blown symphonic progressive, the material is melodic and memorable, unlike many of their more highly-rated contemporaries. I spent most of the album wondering where I'd heard the style before, until it suddenly hit me: Focus. Dice were the natural inheritors of the slightly jazzy, complex symphonic sound of Focus at their best, which is the sort of recommendation it's difficult to ignore. The album's themes move through all the expected moods given the subject matter; stirring martial stuff in War and a rather doomy feel to the other three tracks, with much Mellotron throughout from Leif Larsson. Their self-titled official debut is every bit as good as their early demo, although the vocals are a tad unnecessary in places. If anything, there's even more Mellotron on Dice than Four Riders, with some excellent material to boot, with The Utopian Suntan being a sardonic reflection on the subject of the destruction of the ozone layer, some years ahead of the general public's perception of the issue. As the sleeve notes say, "This is a catchy tune about epithelial cancer". Follies appears to be about schizophrenia, so you can hardly accuse Dice of not tackling the issues of the (or any) day. Its long drawn-out coda consists of probably the slowest 'speed-up' I've ever heard, taking several minutes from the first perceptible pitch shift to the final high-speed squeak. So, I recommend both albums highly, assuming you can find them. There's also a live album, Live Dice (****), recorded in 1979, but upon close scrutiny, it would appear to be entirely Mellotron-free. As for their two studio albums, however; buy? BUY OR DIE! © Andy Thompson 1999-2008 www.planetmellotron.com/revd3.htm



Moira - Crazy Countdown - 1977 - Schneeball

A good example of the German late seventies jazz rock tradition. The album is experimental in parts, but accessible and enjoyable. Any info on this band or album would be greatly appreciated by A.O.O.F.C. Edgar Hofmann played with the great Krautrock band, Embryo. Check out Embryo's great "Father Sons & Holy Ghosts" 1972 album. For music in the same genre, you should listen to Morpheus' great "“Rabenteuer” album from 1976.


1.Para Jofrey 8:05
2.Crazy Countdown 5:55
3.Smile 5:41
4.Mata Meme 5:45
5.Gemini 4:12
6.Always later 6:34
7.Spain Mandala 5:01

N.B: Tracks 3 & 4 may be incomplete versions of original studio tracks. Info appreciated.


Jürgen Kanwischer - guitars, [all instruments (Track 5, 6)]
Butze Fischer - drums, percussion, timbales
Rainer Frank - Bass
Edgar Hofmann - soprano saxophone, flute
Burkhard Plenge - keyboards
Jofrey Ramos - congas, percussion


Certainly one of the more obscure bands from the vast Gunderground, Moira were a fascinating progressive fusion collective formed by veterans of the Krautrock scene including Edgar Hoffman (Embryo) and Butze Fischer (Missus Beastly, Guru Guru, Embryo). Both their albums were recorded for the Schneeball label, the record consortium setup by members of Embryo and Missus Beastly. Musically, Moira fit snugly into the label’s distinct school of fusion and are part of the German “M” scene of jazz rock groups (Morpheus, Missus Beastly, Munju). For the debut, “Crazy Countdown”, Moira explored many of the areas that were popular at the time, including Latin-tinged jazz fusion (“Para Jofrey”, “Spain Mandala”), Eastern meditation journeys with sitar and flute (“Smile”), acoustic seriousness (“Gemini”), acid cosmic space rock (“Always Later”), lounge funk (“Mata Meme”), even post-Miles Davis intense jamming (title track). During this era, the band were clearly lead by guitarist Jorgen Kanwischer, who is credited with scoring all the compositions as well as being the sole instrumentalist on “Gemini” and “Always Later”. Six years later the group had completely changed hands (see below for more explanation) and actually took on an older, more retro sound when absolutely no one was doing that in 1984. In an era when every band had the most tin-sounding, Casio-like, digital keyboard and every guitarist was going for the pig-squeal guitar hero motif, could a band possibly put an album out with Hammond organ, Moog and wah-wah guitar as its main ingredients? Sounding like a long lost recording from a smoky club in Hamburg, the band let loose with an unpretentious instrumental jazz rock album not found since the glory days of 1974. A truly astonishing release that beats their already excellent debut in every way. The title track opener is a side long exercise in organ, analog synth and guitar jamming with some incredible jazz drumming and a mighty fine bass player. This is followed by the short "Oase," a flute, drum and percussion piece that would not have been out of place on Yatha Sidhra’s album. Side two opens with "Kristall," a more fusion oriented piece with some dirty organ and guitar shredding. "Einsame Schatten", the only track with singing, follows with a blistering sequence that recalls the early Toto Blanke works. This track continues paradoxically with a funky jazz bit with German vocals recalling Embryo's Bad Heads and Bad Cats in their most silly mood. This section would be the album’s only misstep. The too short closer "Resume" recalls the ending of Virus’ Revelation album complete with echoed German recitation and acid guitars. There’s been quite a bit of debate about this second album and its origins/authenticity. Anyone from Ultima Thule’s Cosmic Egg professors to Schneeball label owner/Embryo icon Christian Burchard have shrugged their shoulders and said “no idea?”. But the label clearly says Schneeball with a yellow background. The catalog number of 0025 was presumably used by polit-rockers Hammerfest on Hier Bei Uns, though careful steady shows that album was also on the Maulschnauz label, causing even more confusion. Then there was the small matter that neither album shared similar members. However there is a link: Some copies of Crazy Countdown come with a detailed Moira newsletter. The then current lineup of the band (1978) had already evolved and included one Eberhard Bronner on drums, who is in fact on Reise Nach Ixtlan. Both are absolute must owns for the serious Krautrock fusion collector. Tom Hayes, 01-Aug-2006 - Original review: 17-Mar-2001, Revised: 28-Jul-2006, http://gnosis2000.net/reviews/moira.htm

The Pretty Things

The Pretty Things - Out Of The Island - 1987 - Inakustik Records [ Re-issued on CD in 1998 on Inakustik/Inak Records ]

One of the great British rock and roll and rhythm and blues bands. They never had a hit in the U.S, but had large success in their native U.K, and in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the Netherlands in the middle of the decade. However, in the U.S., along with bands like The Yardbirds and Van Morrison's Them, they influenced many garage bands, including the great MC5 and The Seeds. On "Out Of The Island" the Pretty Things re-recorded some of their greatest songs. Buy their great "Savage Eye" album, and listen to their brilliant 1968 " S. F. Sorrow" album, which is a hugely underrated psychedelic rock classic.


1. Cry to Me - Russell
2. Baby Doll - Berry
3. She's Fine, She's Mine - Diddley
4. Get the Picture? - Taylor/May
5. Havana Bound - May/Tolson
6. Can't Stop - May/Engel
7. Loneliest Person/L.S.D. - Taylor/Waller/May/Alder
8. Private Sorrow - Taylor/Waller/Povey/May/Alder
9. Moon Is Rising - Reed/Abner
10. Big City - Duncan/Klein
11. Cause and Effect - May
12. Well Known Blues - Taylor/May/Engel/Shaw/Stephan
13. You Don't Believe Me - Graham/May/Morrell/Page
14. Judgement Day - Morrison (Arr. Taylor/May/Shaw/Taylor/Engels/Tervelde


Bertram Engel - Drums
Phil May - Vocals
Joe Shaw - Guitar
Steffi Stephan - Bass, Tambourine
Dick Taylor - Guitar
Roelf Ter Veld - Bass


Of all the original British Invasion groups, perhaps none are as underappreciated in the United States as the Pretty Things. Featuring the hoarse vocals of Mick Jagger-lookalike Phil May and the stinging leads of guitarist Dick Taylor (who actually played in early versions of the Rolling Stones with Jagger and Keith Richards), the Pretties recorded a clutch of raunchy R&B rockers in the mid-'60s that offer a punkier, rawer version of the early Stones sound. Their first two albums, as well as a brace of fine major and minor British hits (of which "Don't Bring Me Down" and "Honey I Need" were the biggest), feature first-rate original material and covers, and remain the group's most exciting and influential recordings. Unfortunately, the band remained virtually unknown to American audiences, most of whom would first hear "Don't Bring Me Down" on David Bowie's Pin Ups album (which also included a version of the Pretties' "Rosalyn"). After their initial run of success, the group took a sharp left turn into psychedelia with the orchestrated album Emotions (1967), impressive singles that owed more to Pink Floyd than Bo Diddley, and, most significantly, S.F. Sorrow (1968). The first rock opera, S.F. Sorrow was a major influence on Pete Townshend, who released his much more successful opera, Tommy, with the Who the following year. Founding member Taylor left shortly after S.F. Sorrow, and the group continued to record progressive rock and hard rock with less impressive results through the mid-'70s, although Parachute (1970) was named album of the year by Rolling Stone. The group reunited sporadically for occasional gigs and recordings in their early R&B vein before officially reforming to release Rage...Before Beauty in 1999. © Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

ABOUT THE PRETTY THINGS [Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2004]

The party line on the Pretty Things is that they were early British blues-rockers as good as (or better than) the Stones but never got the same breaks. While this notion has merit, it overlooks the fact that in the late 1960s, they went on to create a concept-rock masterpiece (S.F. SORROW) on par with the artiest creations of the Beatles. Though the band went through numerous breakups and personnel changes, they emerged in the '90s with their core membership intact, playing live and releasing new material. One of England's seminal R&B bands, the Pretty Things were formed at Sidcup Art College, Kent, England, in September 1963. The original line-up featured a founder-member of the Rolling Stones, Dick Taylor (b. 28 January 1943, Dartford, Kent, England; guitar), plus Phil May (b. 9 November 1944, Dartford, Kent, England; vocals), Brian Pendleton (b. 13 April 1944, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, d. 25 May 2001, Maidstone, Kent, England; rhythm guitar), John Stax (b. John Edward Fulligan, 16 April 1944, Crayford, Kent, England; bass) and Peter Kitley (drums), although the latter was quickly replaced by Viv Andrews. The band secured a recording contract within months of their inception. Their label then insisted that the luckless Andrews be removed in favour of Viv Prince (b. Loughborough, Leicestershire, England), an experienced musician and ex-member of Carter-Lewis And The Southerners. The Pretty Things' debut single, "Rosalyn", scraped into the UK Top 50, but its unfettered power, coupled with the band's controversial, unkempt appearance, ensured maximum publicity. Their brash, almost destructive, approach to R&B flourished with two exciting UK Top 20 singles, "Don't Bring Me Down" and "Honey I Need'. The unit's exuberant first album offered much of the same. Skip Alan (b. Alan Skipper, 11 June 1948, London, England) replaced the erratic Prince in November 1965. Although the Pretty Things" commercial standing had declined, subsequent singles, "Midnight To Six Man" and "Come See Me', were arguably their finest works, combining power with purpose. However, first Pendleton, then Stax, left the band and sessions for a third album, Emotions, were completed with two former members of the Fenmen, Wally Allen (bass/vocals) and John Povey (b. 20 August 1944, London, England; keyboards/vocals). Initially hired on a temporary basis, the duo proved crucial to the Pretty Things" subsequent development. By late 1967 the quintet was immersed in the emergent underground scene. Their music combined harmonies with experimentation, and two exceptional singles, "Defecting Grey" and "Talking About The Good Times", are definitive examples of English "flower-power' pop. The band's new-found confidence flourished on 1968"s S.F. Sorrow, an ambitious concept album that reportedly influenced the Who's own rock opera Tommy. The set was not a commercial success, and a recurring instability - Skip Alan was replaced by former Tomorrow drummer John "Twink" Alder - only to rejoin again, also proved detrimental. Dick Taylor's departure in November 1969 was highly damaging, and although the band's subsequent album, Parachute, was lauded in Rolling Stone magazine, his distinctive guitar sound was notably absent. The Pretty Things collapsed in 1971, but re-formed under a core of May, Povey and Skip Alan to complete Freeway Madness. This trio remained central through the band's subsequent changes until May embarked on a solo career in 1976. Two years later the Emotions line-up - May, Taylor, Povey, Allen and Alan - was reunited. The same quintet, plus guitarist Peter Tolson (b. 10 September 1951, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England), completed a studio album, Cross Talk in 1980. Ten years later, a revitalized unit released a rousing cover version of Barry McGuire's 1965 US number 1 "Eve Of Destruction". By the mid-90s they were still gigging, now under the watchful eye of manager Mark St. John. He had successfully won them back rights to songs and royalties. In 1996, after dozens of changes of personnel and image the line-up was the same as the unit that recorded the stunning "Come See Me"; May, Taylor, Alan, Allan and Povey. S.F. Sorrow was given its live premiere at Abbey Road studios in September 1998, with Dave Gilmour guesting on guitar. A new studio album followed in 1999, together with a fine remastering and reissue programme from Snapper Music. DISCOGRAPHY: The Pretty Things (Fontana 1965)****, Get The Picture? (Fontana 1965)****, Emotions (Fontana 1967)**, S.F. Sorrow (EMI 1968)****, Parachute (Harvest 1970)****, Freeway Madness (Warners 1972)***, Silk Torpedo (Swan Song 1974)***, Savage Eye (Swan Song 1976)***, Live '78 (Jade 1978)**, Cross Talk (Warners 1980)**, Live At The Heartbreak Hotel (Ace 1984)**, Out Of The Island (Inak 1988)**, On Air (Band Of Joy 1992)**, Rage Before Beauty (Madfish 1999)***, Resurrection (Worldwidetribe 1999)***. The band also completed several albums of background music suitable for films: Electric Banana (De Wolfe 1967)**, More Electric Banana (De Wolfe 1968)**, Even More Electric Banana (De Wolfe 1969)**, Hot Licks (De Wolfe 1973)**, Return Of The Electric Banana (De Wolfe 1978)**. COMPILATIONS: Greatest Hits 64-67 (Philips 1975)****, The Vintage Years (Sire 1976)****, Singles A's And B's (Harvest 1977)***, Electric Banana: The Seventies (Butt 1979)**, Electric Banana: The Sixties (Butt 1980)**, The Pretty Things 1967-1971 (See For Miles 1982)****, Cries From The Midnight Circus: The Best Of The Pretty Things 1968-1971 (Harvest 1986)***, Let Me Hear The Choir Sing (Edsel 1986)***, Closed Restaurant Blues (Bam Caruso 1987)***, Unrepentant (Fragile 1995)***, Latest Writs Greatest Hits: The Best Of Pretty Things (Snapper 2000)****, Singles As & Bs (Repertoire 2002)****, The Very Best Of (Repertoire 2004)***, Still Unrepentant: The Pretty Things 1964-2004 (Snapper 2004)***. VIDEOGRAPHY: S.F. Sorrow Live At Abbey Road (Snapper 2003). BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Pretty Things: Their Own Story And The Downliners Sect Story, Mike Stax. The Pretty Things: Growing Old Disgracefully, Alan Lakey.


Average White Band & Ben E. King

Average White Band & Ben E. King - Benny And Us - 1977 - Atlantic

One of the most interesting collaborations of the seventies, the soul legend Ben E. King and the progressive Average White Band. The result was a surprisingly good album, and one that has the AWB "fixing" their "bad vocalist" problem by bringing in Ben E King to sing! The album has a great funky sound , and some great tracks on the album include a funky version of "What Is Soul", an earlier hit for King, and "Star In The Ghetto", "Get It Up For Love", and "The Message." A very good album, even if it's a little short. The sound quality is only fair, but it's great to hear these great artists together. Check out the AWB's "Cut the Cake," and "Person to Person" albums for a real taste of just how good this group could be. There is info on their "Feel No Fret" album @ AWB/FNF and it is very worthwhile to hear Ben E. King's brilliant " Shades of Blue" album.


A1 Get It Up For Love (4:33) Congas, Percussion - Nicky Marrero [composed by Ned Doheny]
A2 Fool For You Anyway (5:38) Guitar [Solo] - Jim Mullen [composed by Mick Jones]
A3 A Star In The Ghetto (7:01) Arranged By [Strings, Horns] - Arif Mardin [composed by Phillip Mitchell]
Congas - Ray Barretto
A4 The Message (5:17) Recorded By - Bobby Warner [composed by by The Average White Band, Ben E. King]
B1 What Is Soul (4:34) [composed by Ben E. King, Bob Gallo]
B2 Someday We'll All Be Free (5:13) Arranged By [Strings] - Cengiz Yaltkaya [composed by Donny Hathaway, Ed Howard]
Backing Vocals - Debra Gray , Robin Clark
Recorded By - Bobby Warner
B3 Imagine (4:56) Arranged By [Strings] - Arif Mardin , Cengiz Yaltkaya [composed by John Lennon]
Backing Vocals - Debra Gray , Robin Clark
B4 Keepin' It To Myself (4:30) Congas, Percussion - Nicky Marrero [composed by Alan Gorrie]


Backing Vocals - Luther Vandross
Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Alan Gorrie
Drums, Percussion - Steve Ferrone
Guitar - Onnie McIntyre
Guitar, Backing Vocals - Hamish Stuart
Keyboards, Saxophone [Alto] - Malcolm Duncan
Lead Vocals - Ben E. King
Saxophone [Additional Baritone] - Lewis Del Gatto (tracks: A2, B1, B4)
Saxophone [Additional Tenor] - Michael Brecker (tracks: A2, B1, B4)
Trombone [Additional] - Barry Rogers (tracks: A2, B1, B4)
Trumpet [Additional] - Marvin Stamm (tracks: A2, B1, B4) , Randy Brecker (tracks: A2, B1, B4)


Their self-effacing name to the contrary, Average White Band was anything but -- one of the few white groups to cross the color line and achieve success and credibility playing funk, with their tight, fiery sound also belying their Scottish heritage, evoking American R&B hotbeds like Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia instead. Singer/bassist Alan Gorrie, guitarists Hamish Stuart and Onnie McIntyre, tenor saxophonist Malcolm Duncan, keyboardist/saxophonist Roger Ball, and drummer Robbie McIntosh comprised the original Average White Band lineup. Veterans of numerous Scottish soul and jazz groups, they made their debut in 1973 as the opening act at Eric Clapton's Rainbow Theatre comeback gig, soon issuing their debut LP, Show Your Hand, to little notice. After adopting the abbreviated moniker AWB, a year later the band issued their self-titled sophomore effort, topping the American pop charts with the Arif Mardin-produced instrumental "Pick Up the Pieces." The record's mammoth success was nevertheless tempered by the September 23, 1974 death of McIntosh, who died at a Hollywood party after overdosing on heroin. Ex-Bloodstone drummer Steve Ferrone replaced McIntosh for AWB's third album, 1975's Cut the Cake, which scored a Top Ten hit with its title track as well as two other chart entries, "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" and "School Boy Crush." (Put It Where You Want It, issued later that same year, was simply a retitled and repackaged Show Your Hand.) With 1976's Soul Searching, the group reclaimed the full Average White Band name, scoring their final Top 40 hit with "Queen of My Soul." Following the live Person to Person, they issued Benny & Us, a collaboration with soul legend Ben E. King. However, after subsequent outings, including 1978's Warmer Communications, 1979's Feel No Fret, and 1980's Shine, failed to recapture the energy of AWB's peak, the group dissolved in 1982, with Ferrone later joining Duran Duran and Stuart recording with Paul McCartney. Gorrie, Ball, and McIntyre reformed Average White Band in 1989, tapping vocalist Alex Ligertwood for their comeback effort Aftershock. Oft-sampled by hip-hop producers throughout the 1990s, the group continued touring prior to releasing Soul Tattoo in 1996. The live album, Face to Face, followed three years later. © Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide


From the groundbreaking orchestrated productions of the Drifters to his own solo hits, Ben E. King was the definition of R&B elegance. King's plaintive baritone had all the passion of gospel, but the settings in which it was displayed were tailored more for his honey smooth phrasing and crisp enunciation, proving for perhaps the first time that R&B could be sophisticated and accessible to straight pop audiences. King's approach influenced countless smooth soul singers in his wake and his records were key forerunners of the Motown sound. King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson, NC, in 1938, and sang with his church choir before the family moved to Harlem in 1947. In junior high, he began performing with a street corner doo wop group called the Four B's, which won second place in an Apollo Theater talent contest. While still in high school, he was offered a chance to join the Moonglows, but was simply too young and inexperienced to stick. He subsequently worked at his father's restaurant as a singing waiter, which led to an invitation to become the baritone singer in a doo wop outfit called the Five Crowns in 1958. The Five Crowns performed several gigs at the Apollo Theater along with the Drifters, whose career had begun to flounder in the years since original lead singer Clyde McPhatter departed. Drifters manager George Treadwell, dissatisfied with the group members' unreliability and lack of success, fired them all in the summer of 1958 and hired the Five Crowns to assume the name of the Drifters (which he owned). The new Drifters toured for about a year, playing to often hostile audiences who knew they were a completely different group. In early 1959, they went into the studio with producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller to cut their first records. A song Nelson (still performing under his given name) co-wrote called "There Goes My Baby" became his first lead vocal and the lush backing arrangement made highly unorthodox (in fact, virtually unheard-of) use of a string section. "There Goes My Baby" became a massive hit, laying the groundwork for virtually every smooth/uptown soul production that followed. Over the next two years, Nelson sang lead on several other Drifters classics, including "Dance With Me," "This Magic Moment," "Save the Last Dance for Me," and "I Count the Tears." In 1960, Nelson approached Treadwell about a salary increase and a fairer share of the group's royalties. Treadwell rebuffed him and Nelson quit the group, at this point assuming the more memorable stage name Ben E. King in preparation for a solo career. Remaining on Atlantic, King scored his first solo hit with the stylish, Latin-tinged ballad "Spanish Harlem," a Jerry Leiber/Phil Spector composition that hit the Top Ten in early 1961. The follow-up, "Stand By Me," a heartfelt ode to friendship and devotion co-written by King, became his signature song and an enduring R&B classic; it was also his biggest hit, topping the R&B charts and reaching the pop Top Five. King scored a few more chart singles through 1963, including velvety smooth pop-soul productions like "Amor," "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)," and the Italian tune "I (Who Have Nothing)." In the post-British Invasion years, King had a rough go of it on the pop charts but continued to score R&B hits. 1967's Southern-fried "What Is Soul?" was one of his last singles for Atco; seeking to revive his commercial fortunes, King departed in 1969. A 1970 album on Maxwell, Rough Edges, failed to generate much attention, and King was forced to make a living touring the oldies circuit. In 1975, Atlantic president Ahmet Ertegun caught King's act in a Miami lounge and invited him to re-sign with the label. King scored an unlikely comeback smash with the disco track "Supernatural Thing, Part I," which returned him to the top of the R&B charts in 1975 and also reached the pop Top Five. While he was unable to duplicate that single's success, King recorded several more albums for Atlantic up through 1981, and also collaborated with the Average White Band in 1977 on the album Benny & Us. After leaving Atlantic a second time, King toured in a version of the Drifters beginning in 1982. In 1986, "Stand By Me" was prominently featured in the Rob Reiner film of the same name; re-released as a single, it climbed into the Top Ten all over again. In its wake, King returned to solo recording, issuing a new album every few years all the way up through the '90s. He also guested on recordings by Heaven 17 and Mark Knopfler, among others. King's 1999 album Shades of Blue (on Half Note Records) found him branching out into jazz territory, performing with a big band and guests like Milt Jackson and David "Fathead" Newman. 2006 saw the release of a brand new album, I've Been Around, on True Life Records. © Steve Huey, All Music Guide

Judy Collins

Judy Collins - Wildflowers - 1967 - Elektra

This beautifully orchestrated baroque folk pop album from the great Judy Collins, helped to promote a new era of folk songwriters. As well as her own compositions, it includes some of the then mostly unknown songs of Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Check out Judy's great "Maid of Constant Sorrow, " "Judy Sings Dylan... Just Like a Woman" and "Judy Collins Sings Lennon & McCartney" albums.


"Michael from Mountains" (Joni Mitchell)
"Since You Asked" (Judy Collins)
"Sisters of Mercy" (Leonard Cohen)
"Priests" (Leonard Cohen)
"A Ballata of Francesco Landini" (ca. 1335 - 1397) Lasso! di Donna
"Both Sides Now" (Joni Mitchell)
"La chanson des vieux amants (The Song of Old Lovers)" (Jacques Brel)
"Sky Fell" (Judy Collins)
"Albatross" (Judy Collins) ["Albatross" was used in the 1968 film adaptation of The Subject Was Roses]
"Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye" (Leonard Cohen)


Soothing. Unique. Natural. These are clear adjectives used best when describing the style and grace of Judy Collins and her album Wildflowers. Her blend of folk and meditative music paints a tapestry of soft, nurturing colors that transcends the mind of the listener and seeks one's soul. Much of the material feels uplifting and full of spirit, or even spiritual to some degree. Yet other parts of the record can be viewed and felt as sad and morose, which gives the record some dexterity and variety among its ability to appeal toward contrasting moods. Collins makes a well-earned statement in her original tunes "Since You Asked," "Sky Fell," and "Albatross," that deep, meditative, and subtle can be effective within the realms of music as an art form. She is certainly artistic with her approach, staying away from the clichéd folk and pop music that flooded much of the '60s radio-friendly airwaves. Collins also includes her favorite melodies from the songbooks of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. This can benefit one as a pleasant listen, easy to sooth the mind and body, and release the burdens of everyday stress in society. © Shawn M. Haney, All Music Guide


Judy Collins was one of the major interpretive folksingers of the '60s. A child prodigy at classical piano, she turned to folk music at the age of 15 and released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, in 1961 when she was 22. That album and its follow-up, The Golden Apples of the Sun, consisted of traditional folk material, with Collins's pure, sweet soprano accompanied by her acoustic guitar playing. By the time of Judy Collins #3, she had begun to turn to contemporary material and to add other musicians. (Jim, later Roger, McGuinn tried out his first arrangements of "The Bells of Rhymney" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" on this album, before using them with The Byrds.) Collins's musical horizons were expanded further by 1966 and the release of In My Life, which added theater music to her repertoire and introduced her audience to the writing of Leonard Cohen; it was one of her six albums to go gold. Her first gold-seller, however, was 1967's Wildflowers, which contained her hit version of "Both Sides Now" by the then-little-known songwriter Joni Mitchell. By the '70s, Collins had come to be identified as much as an art song singer as a folksinger and had also begun to make a mark with her original compositions. Her best-known performances cover a wide stylistic range: the traditional gospel song "Amazing Grace," the Stephen Sondheim Broadway ballad "Send in the Clowns," and such songs of her own as "My Father" and "Born to the Breed." Collins recorded less frequently after the end of her 23-year association with Elektra Records in 1984, though she made two albums for Gold Castle. In 1990, she signed to Columbia Records and released Fires of Eden, her 23rd album. A move to Geffen preceded the 1993 release of Judy Sings Dylan...Just Like a Woman; Shameless followed on Atlantic in 1994. Six years later, Collins released All on a Wintry Night. © William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide


Judy Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide with her unique blend of interpretative folksongs and contemporary themes. Her impressive career has spanned more than 40 years. At 13, Judy Collins made her public debut performing Mozart's "Concerto for Two Pianos" but it was the music of such artists as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as the traditional songs of the folk revival, that sparked Judy Collins' love of lyrics. She soon moved away from the classical piano and began her lifelong love with the guitar. In 1961, Judy Collins released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, at the age of 22 and began a thirty-five year association with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Judy Collins is also noted for her rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" on her classic 1967 album, Wildflowers. "Both Sides Now" has since been entered into the Grammy's Hall of Fame. Winning "Song of the Year" at the 1975 Grammy's Awards show was Judy's version of "Send in the Clowns," a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical "A Little Night Music." Released on September 29th, Judy's new book, Sanity and Grace, A Journey of Suicide, Survival and Strength, is a deeply moving memoir, focusing on the death of her only son and the healing process following the tragedy. The book speaks to all who have endured the sorrow of losing a loved one before their time. In the depths of her suffering, Judy found relief by reaching out to others for help and support. Now, she extends her hand to comfort other survivors whose lives have been affected by similar tragedy. In a recent appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, Judy performed "Wings of Angels," the heartbreaking ballad that she wrote about the loss of her son. The song is currently available on the newly released Judy Collins Wildflower Festival CD and DVD, which also feature guest artists Arlo Guthrie, Tom Rush and Eric Andersen. This extraordinary concert was filmed at the famed Humphrey's By the Bay in San Diego, CA. The concert was the culmination of a 25 city national tour. Judy Collins continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart. © HDtracks 2007 - 2008


Uriah Heep

Uriah Heep - Sea of Light - 1995 - HTD

A great abum, regarded by many fans and music critics as Uriah Heep's "renaissance." All the tracks are good. The guitar work by Mick Box is tremendous. Great vocals from Bernie Shaw, and amazing keyboard work by Phil Lanzon. The Heep are back to their best on this album. Check out The Heep's classic "Demons and Wizards" and "Very 'Eavy...Very 'Umble" albums.


1.Against the Odds (Box/Lanzon)
2.Sweet Sugar (Bolder)
3.Time of Revelation (Box/Lanzon)
4.Mistress of All Time (Lanzon)
5.Universal Wheels (Bax/Box/Lanzon)
6.Fear of Falling (Bolder)
7.Spirit of Freedom (Box/Lanzon)
8.Logical Progression (Box/Lanzon)
9.Love in Silence (Box/Lanzon)
10.Words in the Distance (Box/Lanzon)
11.Fires of Hell (Your Only Son) (Bolder)
12.Dream on (Bolder)


Mick Box: Guitars, Vocals
Bernie Shaw: Lead Vocals
Trevor Bolder: Bass guitar, Vocals
Lee Kerslake: Drums, Vocals
Phil Lanzon: Keyboards, Vocals
Piet Sielck: Additional Keyboard Recording
"Heep's Little Helpers" Additional backing vocals: Rolf Kohler, Pete Beckett


Background - 1995 saw a return to glory for eternal rock dinosaurs Uriah Heep. Talk about a topsy turvy career, littered with successes and failures. However, through all of this has been the resolve to keep releasing music, something they have no problem doing. With this particular line-up, the band have reached a level of unsurpassed stability, something they had problems with previously. Two of the key recruits were the Grand Prix pairing of Shaw and Lanzon. On 'Sea Of Light' they do make significant contributions, Shaw giving fellow frontman Graham Bonnet a run for his money in the 'vocal power' stakes, and there is a certain similarity between the two. The Songs - Opening up with the striking 'Against The Odds', Uriah Heep comfortably mix chugging guitar power with progressive keyboards supplied by Lanzon. The whole thing moving in a direction not unlike 'Back Down To Earth' era Rainbow. Again, Lanzon supplies the spiky organ blasts on 'Sweet Sugar' though lyrically the songs border on the banal. 'Time Of Revelation' is a classic hark-back to the seventies era, circa 'Look At Yourself'. 'Mistress Of All Time' sees Shaw zeroing in on Jon Anderson's vocal dabbles, which is a lovely slice of progressive balladry written by Lanzon. 'Universal Wheels' is a hard rocking track with a sound lost in the eighties (fine by me!), the guitar and keyboard interplay a feature, as is the voiceover/narration during the solo section. 'Fear Of Falling' is a tight, decisive pice of music, with Bolder's bass working overtime, while the pairing of 'Spirit Of Freedom' and 'Logical Progression' are the two highlights for me, the latter featuring some fluid bass lines from Bolder and some AOR approved guitar chords from Master Box. In Summary - Consistency is the name of the game here, and it's nice to see an overdue return to form from the Heep'sters. Not that their immediate prior albums were really bad, it's just that 'Sea Of Light' stands out more in a positive sense. The album was re-released by Spitfire Records several years later for the US market mainly. Three years later they continued the positive vibe with 'Sonic Origami', though there are more acoustic flavored moments on that one. Fans of tight melodic rock need to seek this album out. Review © gdazegod, www.glory-daze.com/readarticle.php?article_id=1542

As for me, "Sea of Light" is undoubtedly the best album in the long history of this alive legend! Quite apart from fantastically beautiful playing and singing from all of the band members all over the disc, this album also is simply a set of the excellent Hard Rock blockbusters: to begin with absolutely "progressive", daring and unexpected Against the Odds (a real Prog-killer!), then on to Universal Wheels, Logical Progression, through the powerful and energetic Time of Revelation, Fear of Falling and Words in the Distance to conclude with really witty melodic Rock-ballads like Mistress of All Time and Dream On! Summary: Frankly, I love this album, as well as I like a lot this line-up (see above). And I'm very amazed that a lot of the old band's fans lose their ears: this is Uriah Heep "at their best"! So, I understand the feelings of the band members, when I read the following words in the album's booklet: "But most important of all - our special thanks GO OUT to all our fans worldwide for their very "umble support". I agree absolutely: such a shame! Hold on, guys! You really know that we love you, because you are great musicians and Uriah Heep is one of the best Progressive Hard Rock Bands of all times! © VM. August 30, 1999 www.progressor.net/review/uriah_heep_1995.html

Although they had continued to record steadily after making a comeback with 1982's Abominog, Uriah Heep had slipped off the heavy metal world's radar by the mid-1990s. Just the same, they manage to notch up an impressive and well-received album in 1995 with Sea of Light. The key to this album's success is that it forsaked the ill-judged pop metal stylings of albums like Equator for a return to the gothic-tinged old-school metal style that highlighted classic Uriah Heep albums like Look at Yourself. A great example is "A Time of Revelation," a gutsy rock tune that glides forwards on a one-two-three punch of thick guitar work, rousing organ riffs, and several layers of operatic vocal harmonies. Meanwhile, "Against the Odds" resurrects the operatic feel of the group's early work, and "Sweet Sugar" is a gritty rocker that could have easily fit in on Return to Fantasy. However, the classic rock punch of Sea of Light is tempered with a mature lyrical outlook that forsakes the Dungeons and Dragons themes of their 1970s output and the AOR-styled love lyrics of their 1980s albums for a world-conscious outlook. Sometimes they get a bit carried away when they try for the message song ("Universal Wheels" lays it on a little too thick, especially when it starts working in faux news report sound bites about the world's problems), but the positivism expressed in tunes like "Spirit of Freedom" and "Logical Progression" is appealing, and these lyrics effectively compliment the generally anthemic tone of the music. In the end, Sea of Light may be a little too old-fashioned for rockers accustomed to Metallica and Megadeth, but those who enjoy the heavier side of classic rock will find plenty of old-school pleasures on this disc. © Donald A. Guarisco, www.allmusic.com


URIAH HEEP came into being in 1970, the band being largely the same as that previously known as SPICE. The multi talented Ken Hensley, who had previously been a member of CLIFF BENNETT?S TOE FAT, and also The GODS (which also featured GREG LAKE in their line up) was brought in mainly to add an organ to the band?s sound. In the early years, Hensley, together with Mick Box (guitar) and David Byron (vocals) formed the nucleus of the band. The rhythm section was somewhat transient with both bass and drums being played by a succession of band members. Of these, Paul Newton was probably the most influential member, particularly as his father was involved in managing the band. It wasn?t until their fourth album ?Demons and Wizards? that the rhythm section was finally sorted out. Le Kerslake (who had previously played with Hensley in The GODS was brought in on drums, and Gary Thain (ex KEEF HARTLEY BAND) on bass. The difference was immediately obvious, and the ?classic? line up was born. Sadly, Thain died in 1975 and later Byron died in the 1980?s, have been previously sacked by the band at different times due to drink and drug related problems respectively. Line up changes have been a feature of the band throughout their career, with John Wetton, John Lawson, and Trevor Boulder being among the lengthy list of names. These changes have not always proved to be for the better, and have at times resulted in disappointing albums, the most notorious of these being ?Conquest?. The band has on a number of occasions been on the brink of extinction, or at least given the number of line up changes, a change of name. Guitarist Mick Box has however carried the torch and ensured that even today, the songs which made URIAH HEEP one of the top acts in the world, are still performed live. The present line up of Boulder, Kerslake, Box, Lanzon, Shaw holds the distinction of having been together for the longest period of any line up in the band?s entire career. They still tour regularly, and released their latest album, ?Sonic Origami? in 1998. URIAH HEEP?s music covers a multitude of styles. In prog terms, their style is more toward progressive metal, with symphonic overtones while always retaining a strong focus on melody. Their early influences include VANILLA FUDGE, while the strong vocal harmonies of THREE DOG NIGHT are also mirrored on many tracks. URIAH HEEP have in turn had a strong influence on the music of bands such as QUEEN and more recently The DARKNESS. Sometimes the music is soft and melodic, with virtually every album containing at least one ballad. The sound most associated with the band however is that which appears on their very first track, ?Gypsy?. The heavy guitar riff is backed by a Hammond Organ, fed through Leslie speakers, a strong bass line, and tub-thumping drums. URIAH HEEP have had their share of fame and fortune over the years, being a headline act throughout the world in the 70?s. They have consistently however been derided by the critics who have always found it more convenient to simply dismiss the band?s music on the basis on uninformed preconceptions. © Bob McBeath (with thanks to the offcial URIAH HEEP website)

BIO (Wikipedia)

Uriah Heep are an English rock band, formed in December 1969 when record producer Gerry Bron invited keyboardist Ken Hensley (previously a member of The Gods and Toe Fat) to join Spice, a band signed to his own Bronze Records label. Sometimes jokingly referred to as "The Beach Boys of heavy metal" for their melodic songs, and trademark multi-part harmony backing vocals, although their music draws on diverse influences including: progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal, jazz and even country on occasion. As one of the first bands to fuse progressive with metal, they are a precursor to the progressive metal genre. In spite of their huge popularity in Britain and continental Europe, Uriah Heep were never able to break into the American market in a big way, with the exception of three hit songs, "Easy Livin' " from the 1972 album Demons and Wizards, "Sweet Lorraine" from the 1972 album The Magician's Birthday (a top ten album in Australia), and "Stealin' " from the 1973 release Sweet Freedom. The band released several commercially successful albums in the 1970s, including the seminal Uriah Heep Live (1973), but their audience declined by the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult band in the US and UK. Uriah Heep maintain a significant following in Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, Japan and Russia, where they still perform at stadium-sized venues. Their debut album, Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble (which was self-titled in the United States), introduced a heavy organ and guitar-driven sound, with David Byron's theatrical, dynamic vocals soaring above thunderous sonic backgrounds, although acoustic and jazz elements also featured in the mix. The album's title references the signature phrase of the Dickens character Uriah Heep ("very 'umble") from the novel David Copperfield from which the band took its name. Their second album, Salisbury, was more squarely in the progressive rock genre, with its 16-minute title track featuring a 24-piece orchestra; it also included Lady in Black. Their third album, "Look at Yourself", released at the end of 1971, included the single "July Morning". Subsequent releases would find the group's ever-shifting lineup (between 1969 and 1980, the band changed drummers five times, bassists four times, and lead singers twice) frequently exploring fantasy-oriented lyrical themes, often in lengthy, multi-part compositions, largely penned by Hensley, who would eventually come to dominate the band during his tenure. On December 8th 1975, New Zealand-born former bassist, Gary Thain, was found dead in his Norwood Green home, aged 27, having overdosed on heroin. Following the 1976 replacement of vocalist David Byron (with John Lawton - formerly of the German band Lucifer's Friend), Uriah Heep turned away from fantasy-oriented lyrics and multi-part compositions back toward a more straightforward hard rock sound typical of the era. In 1977 they scored a top 40 chart hit in Australia with "Free Me" which went all the way to #1 in New Zealand. The replacement of Lawton with vocalist John Sloman for the 1980 album Conquest was not well received by most fans, and Ken Hensley's acrimonious departure in September of that year left the group in a state of collapse. It fell to guitarist Mick Box to pick up the pieces and soldier on with a new singer Pete Goalby of Trapeze fame. Two early 1980s releases, Abominog and Head First, updated the band's sound and generated a brief, newfound interest in Uriah Heep among younger glam metal fans. David Byron died of an epileptic fit and liver disease on February 28th 1985, at the age of 38. Uriah Heep still tour and release both (occasional) studio and (frequent) live albums. The lineup was unchanged from 1986 until early 2007, being veteran Mick Box at the helm, Trevor Bolder on bass, Lee Kerslake on drums, vocalist Bernie Shaw and Phil Lanzon on keyboards. Their principal tour circuit is in Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian Peninsula, Japan, and Russia, although they returned to Britain for a tour or a showcase concert most years. For several years this was The Magician's Birthday Party (named for one of their most popular albums), in London. This event consists of fan gatherings at local venues featuring current and former band members, and a concert, often with guest appearances by former members. However, to date, the last Party was in 2004. Mick Box also acted as manager until, on April 5, 2005, the band retained Simon Porter as their manager. In December 2006, the band announced that they were recording a new album with producer Mike Paxman for Sanctuary Records, with release planned for 2007. In early 2007 drummer Lee Kerslake had to leave the group due to ill health. In March 2007, the band recruited Russell Gilbrook as their new drummer, and immediately started recording a new studio album entitled Wake the Sleeper. Originally slated for a Summer 2007 release, Universal Music finally released Wake the Sleeper on June 2, 2008. In their Email newsletter of November 22, 2007, Mick Box announced that songs from the upcoming album would be performed on their European tour beginning November 24th.

BIO [ © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, www.allmusic.com ]

Uriah Heep's by-the-books progressive heavy metal made the British band one of the most popular hard rock groups of the early '70s. Formed by vocalist David Byron and guitarist Mick Box in the late '60s, the group went through an astonishing number of members over the next two decades — nearly 30 different musicians passed through the band over the years. Byron and Box were members of the mid-'60s rock band called the Stalkers; once that band broke up, the duo formed another group called Spice. Spice would eventually turn into Uriah Heep in the late '60s, once Ken Hensley (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and bassist Paul Newton joined the pair. Former Spice drummer Alex Napier was the band's drummer for a brief time; he was quickly replaced by Nigel Olsson. Uriah Heep released their debut album Very 'eavy...Very 'umble (called Uriah Heep in the U.S.) in 1970. After its release, Keith Baker became the group's drummer; he recorded Salisbury, the group's second album, before deciding he couldn't keep up with the band's extensive touring and was replaced by Ian Clarke. Salisbury, featuring a 16-minute title track recorded with a 26-piece orchestra, showcased the band's more progressive tendencies. Later that year, Ian Clarke was replaced by Lee Kerslake and Mark Clarke replaced Newton; Mark Clarke quickly left the band and Gary Thain became the group's bassist. This lineup of Uriah Heep was its most stable and popular; beginning with 1972's Demons and Wizards, they released five albums between 1972 and 1975. After 1975, the band's popularity began to slip. Byron left the band in 1977 and was replaced by John Lawton, yet the group's fortunes kept declining right into the early '80s. However, Uriah Heep soldiered on, continuing to release albums into the '90s and 2000s. The album roster included Different World (1994), Sea of Light (1995), Sonic Origami (1998), and Spellbinder (1999).

Angela Strehli

Angela Strehli - Blonde & Blue - 1993 - Rounder


Two Bit Texas Town - Angela Strehli
Never Like This Before - Isaac Hayes, Booker T. Jones, David Porter
Can't Stop These Teardrops - Angela Strehli
You Don't Love Me - Little Walter
I'm Just Your Fool - Little Walter
Say It's Not So - Angela Strehli
Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um - Curtis Mayfield
Go On - Angela Strehli
Gotta Find Me a Lover (24 Hours a Day) - Eugene Record, Carl Davis
The Sun Is Shining - Elmore James
Going to That City - Sister O.M. Terrell


Angela Strehli - Vocals
Annie Stocking, Bonnie Hayes - Background Vocals
Steve Cropper, Steve James, Derek O'Brien - Guitar
Sarah Brown, John Pierce, Jonathan Sanborn - Bass
Will Calhoun, George Rains, Jim Keltner - Drums
Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff - Harmonica, Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Bill Payne - Piano
Keith Winking - Trumpet
Kent Winking - Trombone
Reese Wynans, Paul Griffen - Keyboards
Don Covay - Track Performer


The danger for modern blues performers is turning into a parody of what you're allegedly celebrating or honoring. Vocalist Angela Strehli avoids that trap by simply being herself; her honesty and individuality makes her cover of Major Lance's "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" a legitimate treatment. Strehli's tough-talking personna was tailor-made for such songs as "Two Bit Texas Town" and "Go On," while she managed to register pain without pathos on "Can't Stop These Teardrops" and "I'm Just Your Fool." Only on Elmore James "The Sun Is Shining" did she falter, more because Albert King has established a credible alternate vision of that number. But she makes up for that with the remarkable closing tune "Going To That City." While she doesn't eclipse Sister O.M. Terrell's transcendent original, she comes as close as anyone possibly could to providing a treatment that's just as valid. © Ron Wynn, All Music Guide


Don't let her lack of albums fool you: vocalist Angela Strehli is an immensely gifted singer and songwriter, a Texas blues historian, impresario and fan. Born November 22, 1945 in Lubbock, Texas, Strehli comes out of the same school of hippie folksingers that gave rise to some of Americana music's most gifted writers, people like Jimmie Dale Gilmore and her brother Al Strehli. Raised in Lubbock and inspired by the mix of blues, country and rock & roll she heard on West Texas early-'60s radio, she learned harmonica and played bass before becoming a full-time vocalist. Despite the fact that her recordings are scant, Strehli spends a good portion of each year performing live shows in Europe and around the U.S. and Canada. You can hear Strehli, who's now based in San Francisco, in all her glory on Soul Shake (1987, Antone's Records), Dreams Come True, with Lou Ann Barton and Marcia Ball (Antone's, 1990) and Blonde and Blue (1993, Rounder Records). Of these, Blonde and Blue seems to best showcase her talents as a vocalist and writer of quality songs. Strehli, an avid student of the blues and a sharp blues historican, also helped build the Austin blues scene with club-owner Clifford Antone and musicians like Kim Wilson and the Vaughan brothers; she resurfaced in 1998 with Deja Blue. © Richard Skelly, All Music Guide


Georgette Fry

Georgette Fry - Live - 1996 - CBC Radio

" I doubt if there's a better female blues or rock vocalist in Canada…" © Andy Grigg, " © Real Blues Magazine. "With her luscious singing voice, she explores the soulful grey area between blues and jazz, where artists like Etta James and Ray Charles and Bonnie Raitt have staked their careers. © " Sandy MacDonald, Halifax Daily News.

Georgette Fry is a very talented Canadian blues jazz vocalist who deserves a wider audience. With her distinctive smoky soulful voice, she sings some great versions of well known blues/rhythm 'n' blues songs. This live album is an excellent demonstration her talent. N.B: Musicians listed here may be incorrect. A.O.O.F.C would appreciate a definitive band list. Try and locate her 1995 album, "Rites of Passage." It's blues jazz at it's best. For more jazz blues in this genre, there is info on the great Irish jazz blues vocalist, Mary Coughlan @ MCOUGHLAN/PLATCOLL


1. I'd Rather Go Blind - B.Foster/E.Jordan
2. I Never Fool Nobody - D.Pomus/M.Rebennack
3. 5 Months..2 Weeks..2 Days - D.Donaldson/D.Morris
4. Drown in My Own Tears - H.Glover
5. If We Can't Trust Each Other - E.Randle
6. When Love Walks Away - G.Fry
7. Don't Leave Me Guessin' - G.Fry
8. You're Not the Only One - C.Peterson
9. Just Like a Fish - P.Wood
10. Wild, Wild Young Men - Nugetre
11. Rain is a Bring Down - R.Brown
12. Living the Blues - T.Nelson/G.Nicholson


Georgette Fry - Vocals
Jim Preston - Guitar
Gerry (Dirt) Clancy - Drums
Zak Colbert - Bass

N.B: Band list is probably incorrect or incomplete. Info appreciated on musicians.

Recorded 30.5.96 in Calgary, Alberta. This album earned Georgette Fry the Jazz Report Award for Blues Musician of the Year; two Real Blues Magazine Awards for Best Canadian Blues Vocalist (1997, 1998), and two nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Maple Blues Awards (1997, 1998).


Juno nominated Georgette Fry is an accomplished blues and jazz vocalist from Kingston, Ontario. A veteran of the concert and festival circuit, she receives rave reviews for her live performances. Georgette has been described as a “powerful and expressive singer”. She has received multiple nominations from Maple Blues Awards for "Female Vocalist of the Year". In January 2004 she received Real Blues Awards for “Best Blues Songwriter”, “Best Blues Release – Female Artist” (Let Me Drive) and Best Canadian Blues Vocalist (Female). In 2006 CBC’s “Saturday Night Blues” awarded her the “Great Canadian Blues Award”. She has also been honoured to be included on the Toronto Blues Society’s album “Women's Blues Revue LIVE” and on CBC’s Saturday Night Blues “20 Year Compilation CD”.


"I think you have to take what I do in context and look at the body of songs I play. What you see is a strong independent woman"- G.Fry. Georgette Fry was born into a Canadian Armed Forces family in St. Jerome, Quebec in 1953 and spent the first 20 years of her life regularly moving around to such places as Metz (France), Lahr (Germany) and Ottawa, Ontario. Having arrived in Kingston, Ontario in 1975 from Ottawa, Georgette joined her first band a year later and, except for a seven-year stint in London, Ontario (1987-1994), she insists on calling Kingston 'home'. Georgette began writing songs while living in London and arrived back in Kingston in November of 1994, bringing with her a recording grant from the Ontario Arts Council. This brought about the release of her Juno-nominated, debut release album "Rites of Passage" in 1995. While touring in Alberta in 1996, CBC radio set out to capture her powerful stage presence live for broadcast on Saturday Night Blues and that performance became her second release, "Georgette - Live" which earned her: the Jazz Report Award for Blues Musician of the Year; two Real Blues Magazine Awards for Best Canadian Blues Vocalist (1997, 1998), and two nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Maple Blues Awards (1997, 1998). She has recently received her fourth nomination from Maple Blues Awards for "Female Vocalist of the Year". In January 2004 she received Real Blues Awards for "Best Blues Songwriter", "Best Blues Release - Female Artist" (Let Me Drive) and Best Canadian Blues Vocalist (Female). Georgette is also a talented songwriter and was awarded another grant from the Ontario Arts Council in 1998, this time in recognition of her songwriting abilities. Seven of the 12 tracks on her newest release, "Let Me Drive", are Fry originals. "I was starting to run out of tunes by other people that appealed to me" Georgette said in a recent interview. "I don't do victim tunes and I like songs that have attitude." This attitude is exemplified in the title song of the CD and has become a favourite amongst fans. John Valentyn writes, "…so good are her songs. Fry has a very good sense of what she can do with her wonderful voice and her songs, with their effective lyrics, are much stronger for it." Maple Blues Magazine. "… not content with being a powerful and expressive singer, Ms. Fry is also a better-than-average writer …". Blues Bytes, (Phoenix Blues Society). A veteran performer on the festival and concert circuit, Georgette receives critical acclaim wherever she performs. She and her band are busy with concerts and festivals around Ontario, Canada but she loves to travel and plans to tour nationally and internationally. Her recent tour of Northern Ontario met with great success. Her presence and talent moved the audiences to standing ovations after every concert. In addition to performing, Georgette is preparing her next recording with her blues band that will include seven new originals. Also in the planning stage are a jazz album and an acoustic blues recording. Georgette is a dedicated artist with a passion for writing and performing music. "Georgette and her band put on a long, entertaining show, full of great music…. Don't miss an opportunity to see her live." © Warren Dallin, Live Review, CanadianBlues.ca www.georgettefry.ca/


Atlanta Rhythm Section

Atlanta Rhythm Section - Live at the Savoy, New York October 27, 1981 - 2000 - Phoenix Gems

Although the album wasn't released until 2000, it dates from 1981, when the ARS were on tour after releasing the "Quinella" album. It was recorded at The Savoy in N. Y. C , so the Southern band despite playing in front of an urban "Yankee" audience, received warm support from the appreciative crowd. This is a good testament to the band's widespread appeal. It's a nice sampling of the band's work, but only an introduction to a lot of great music to be found on their many albums. The recording quality of this live album is only fair, and this post is only a 128 bit rate, so don't expect too much in sound quality. Still, the energy of the band's performance and the collection of great songs makes this a good album. A.O.O.F.C would appreciate info on better audio versions of this album. Buy the band's great "Third Annual Pipe Dream" album for a better idea of what their music is all about.


"Champagne Jam" (Buie, Cobb, Nix) – 5:17
"I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight" (Buie, Daughtry, Nix) – 5:55
"Homesick" (Buie, Cobb) – 4:54
"Alien" (Buie, Lewis, McRay) – 5:51
"Large Time" (Bailey, Buie, Nix) – 3:05
"Spooky" (Buie, Cobb, Middlebrooks, Shapiro) – 5:13
"Higher" (Buie, Hammond) – 5:09
"Imaginary Lover" (Buie, Daughtry, Nix) – 3:39
"So into You" (Buie, Daughtry, Nix) – 6:03
"Long Tall Sally" (Blackwell, Johnson, Little Richard) – 3:08


Ronnie Hammond - Vocals, Background Vocals
Barry Bailey - Guitar
Dean Daughtry - Keyboards
J.R. Cobb - Guitar, Background Vocals
Paul Goddard - Bass
Roy Yeager - Drums


This CD represents a great live recording of this classic Southern boogie band. ARS always showed a level of sophistication and musical taste above and beyond the typical good ole boy bands, and the material here shows that off well. The range of music goes from balladic cuts to bluesy/jazzy jams and classic Southern rock all the way to mainstream AOR performances. Of course, the highlights of the disc are the band's most well-known numbers, "Spooky" and "So Into You." Their cover of "Long Tall Sally" is a great album closer. © Gary Hill, All Music Guide

The Atlanta Rhythm Section: Live at the Savoy, New York, October 27, 1981 showcases the Southern rock stylists at the peak of their impressive 30-year career. The disc contains 10 excellent tracks and features the original ARS lineup of Barry Bailey (guitar), Ronnie Hammond (vocals), Paul Goddard (bass), Robert Nix (drums), J.R. Cobb (guitar) and Dean Daughtry (keyboards). If there is any skepticism as to the quality of the recording, it is quickly washed away as their opener “Champagne Jam” comes through with surprising clarity, with every instrument perfectly placed in the mix. While some bands tend to slice-and-dice their material for live performances, ARS doesn’t stray very far from the original album versions. But like their Southern rock contemporaries, The Allman Brothers, they always leave room for semi-extended improvisation. Guitarist Barry Bailey happily accommodates, filling the space with biting, but tasteful blues/rock solos seasoned with his signature pinched harmonics. Frontman Ronnie Hammond certainly brings his A-game to the Savoy with outstanding vocal performances on every track, not to mention his knack for constantly keeping the crowd involved with his wisecracking banter. But for ARS it’s all about the music. The band meticulously reproduces their biggest hits with effortless virtuosity. Songs like “Imaginary Lover,” “I’m Not Going to Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “So Into You,” and the excellent cover of the Classics IV smash “Spooky” are just a few reasons that the band maintained a place atop the charts from 1977-81. The disc also features the Lynyrd Skynyrd-inspired boogie romp “Large Time,” as well “Alien,” “Homesick,” “Higher” and a rather humorous take on Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” Live at the Savoy serves as a wonderful time capsule that testifies to the excellence of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. This is one disc that shouldn’t be overlooked by fans of the boys from Doraville. Not to mention a giant thumbs up for Phoenix Gems for bringing this and other classic performances out of the vaults and into our lives. © Scott Hudson, © 1999-2008 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.

BIO (Wikipedia)

Atlanta Rhythm Section, sometimes abbreviated ARS, is an American southern rock band. The band unofficially formed in 1970 as former members of the Candymen and the Classics IV became the session band for the newly opened Studio One in Doraville, Georgia, near Atlanta. After playing on other artists' recordings, they decided to become a true band in their own right. The members of the original band were Rodney Justo (singer), Barry Bailey (guitarist), Paul Goddard (bassist), Dean Daughtry (keyboardist) and Robert Nix(drummer) J.R. Cobb joined the band in early 1972. Justo left the band after the first album and was replaced by Ronnie Hammond. Buddy Buie, the band's manager and producer, is listed first on almost all of their songwriting credits of the band's songs. Noted Christian Music artist and southern rocker Mylon LeFevre appeared on the "Jesus Hearted People", from the band's album Third Annual Pipe Dream. Before they became founding members of Atlanta Rhythm Section, members of Mylons backup band included Barry Bailey, Paul Goddard and Dean Daughtry. While ARS didn't reach the commercial success of Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers, the group had a strong following in the South and charted a number of major & minor hits such as "Doraville", "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight", "Champagne Jam", "So Into You", "Imaginary Lover", "Angel", "Do It Or Die", "Neon Nites", and a remake of a Classics IV hit, "Spooky", plus a number of fan favorites such as "Boogie Smoogie", "Jukin'" and "Georgia Rhythm". The band also influenced a number of rock and country artists, notably Travis Tritt, who recorded a cover of the ARS songs, "Back Up Against the Wall" and "Homesick". The group Shudder to Think covered "So Into You". The bandstill tours with some of its original members, playing mostly festivals and other nostalgia-themed concerts.


Tony Spinner

Tony Spinner - Saturn Blues - 1993 - Roadrunner Records (The Netherlands) [Also released on Blues Bureau International: in 1993]

A Grade A blues / hard rock album from a guy with an amazing voice and an incredible guitar technique. Tony's early influences include Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, and Muddy Waters, but you can also hear definite SRV and Rory Gallagher influences here as well. Tomy has played with Toto, and has toured as guitarist and background vocalist with the great Pat Travers Band. He has released several albums of his own on the Blues Bureau International Label. His other work includes a brilliant cover of "Up From the Skies" on the 2003 "Voodoo Crossing" Jimi Hendrix tribute CD, and has also recorded for tribute albums to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King. Buy his great "Crosstown Sessions" album, and give this great artist the credit he richly deserves. "Saturn Blues" is a terrific album, and HR by A.O.O.F.C.


1 Atomic Blast (4:51)
2 She's My Everything (4:34)
3 Freedom (3:53)
4 Hey Zombie (4:53)
5 Angeline (4:59)
6 Make It Throught (5:33)
7 Delilah (6:44)
8 World Fall Down (5:39)
9 Hello California (7:15)
10 Drivin' All Night (4:37)
All songs composed by Tony Spinner

Recorded and mixed at Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati, CA.


Bass - John Onder
Drums - Aynsley Dunbar
Vocals, Guitar - Tony Spinner
Background Vocals - Mike Onesko
Backing Vocals - Mike Varney (Track 6)


Arkansas guitar slinger Tony Spinner’s album Saturn Blues shows off his outstanding songwriting abilities as well as his stylish guitar prowess. Tony’s influences shine through this inspired debut reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix and Rory Gallagher. Don’t miss this one! © 2004 - 2008 Tony Spinner, www.tonyspinner.com/discography/tony-spinner/saturn-blues

Tony Spinner is a bluesman once removed – he plays hard-driving rock influenced by blues, the kind of music once practiced by such '70s bands as Uriah Heap, Wishbone Ash and Humble Pie (and still practiced by Aerosmith). His guitar features lots of feedback and effects, and the whole '70s flashback feeling is reinforced by the psychedelic packaging of the album. Spinner is a hell of a guitarist; he's a master of his numerous effects boxes, not a slave to them, and with just his one instrument can create a wall of sound that grips the listener. Good stuff, sure, but it's kind of a stretch to market it as blues. © Jim Trageser, 2008. All rights reserved. [This review first appeared in the Fall 1994 edition of Blues Revue magazine.] www.trageser.com/music/album-spinner.php


"Don't try to impress with fancy guitar licks, but always play from the heart!" - Tony Spinner, musician, guitarist and vocalist is not only a blues player through and through who lives and breaths blues music, he is also blessed with an incredible voice as well as an amazing guitar technique. That's what makes him such an exciting performer to see live! Let's dig into the career of this unbelievable talented guitarist to find out what Tony is all about! Tony was born in Cape Girardeau, MO on June 9, 1963. His family wasn't musical as far as playing instruments, but they listened to music a lot especially Marty Robbins, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and a wide variety of others. Tony always got excited when a tv show would have a musical guest. He loved to watch shows like Sonny and Cher, Dean Martin and Glen Campbell. Tony always liked music as far back as he can remember: "I started off liking '50's rock-n-roll celebrities such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry who I still like today and I also remember liking songs that told stories like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Groce and "Uneasy Rider" by the Charlie Daniels Band." At the age of 8 he took guitar and piano lessons for a short time but he really wanted to play the saxophone, because it always was the lead solo instrument in most of the '50's music that he listened to at the time. At age 14 Tony really got serious with guitar after watching the movie "Woodstock" and seeing Alvin Lee with 10 Years After and Jimi Hendrix. Tony tried out for a jazz band but it only lasted a day and a half on guitar: "On the second day of rehearsal the band leader figured out that I couldn't read music and sent me on my way. He said I couldn't play in the jazz band without learning to read music. I still can't read and I still don't play jazz!" During his highschool period Tony and his buddies always had a band. They changed the name of the band almost every week, because they couldn't agree on a name! They played hard rock like Van Halen, Ted Nugent and Queen. The musician that influenced him most was Chuck Berry: "His music still gets me excited when I listen to it. He really wrote some great lyrics. Jimi Hendrix was very influential because he was so expressive with his music. Stevie Ray Vaughan got me out of hard rock and back into the blues and boogie that was my first love and of course Rory Gallagher was a big influence, because he taught me to play from the heart and not to think too much with your head. Don't worry about trying to impress people with fancy guitar licks...but play from your heart!" © 2004 - 2008 Tony Spinner, www.tonyspinner.com/biography-mark-fender.php


Tony is currently a touring member of Toto since 1999, singing background vocals (high harmonies) plus electric and acoustic guitar. Toto will be touring Europe extensively throughout 2003. He appears on the Toto record "Livefields," recorded during the Toto Mindfields 2000 tour in Europe and Japan. Since 1998, he has also performed on two records and toured with Paul Gilbert, formerly of Mr. Big, playing electric and acoustic guitar and singing background vocals. Prior to 1998, Tony toured as guitarist and background vocalist for the Pat Travers Band. He also has three records of his own on the Blues Bureau International Label. Tony's first record, "Saturn Blues" was recorded in 1993, "My '64" in 1995, and "Crosstown Sessions" in 1996. He was also chosen to record on the label's tribute albums to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King, "Hat's Off to Stevie Ray," and "Fit for A. King." Tony is currently writing and recording songs for a fourth album, and also recently recorded two songs for Vanguard Records which is a tribute album to Jimi Hendrix. He also plays in the United States with his own band, "The Tony Spinner Band" when he is not touring with Toto.