Monday, December 6, 2010

The Outfield - Bangin - Vinyl album on Columbia Records 1987

Ironically, given their obsession with Americas favorite pastime, the Outfield got their start in Londons East End. Playing under the name the Baseball Boys, the trio of bassist/singer Tony Lewis, guitarist/keyboardist John Spinks, and drummer Alan Jackman played around London and recorded some early demos, attracting the attention of Columbia/CBS Records. They were signed shortly thereafter and began working on their debut album, Play Deep, which was released in 1985. The album was a smash success, going triple platinum, reaching number nine on the album charts, and producing their biggest song, "Your Love," which was a Top Ten hit. To support the album, they launched an international tour opening for Journey and Starship. They began recording their second album in 1986 and in 1987 issued Bangin. While not duplicating the huge commercial success of their debut, it did produce two hit singles, Since You've Been Gone and No Surrender. The band's third album featured a bit of a stylistic shift and was more meticulously produced than their previous efforts. Voices of Babylon, released in 1988, produced a single of the same name, but the band's commercial success was slipping. Jackman left the band after it was recorded and they hired Paul Reed to step in as drummer for the Voices tour.

The Outfield - Bangin - Vinyl album on Columbia Records 1987

Northern Lights - Take You To The Sky - Vinyl LP on Flying Fish Records

Northern Lights is a New England-based bluegrass band known for their creative and distinct sound. The band consists of Taylor Armerding (mandolin and vocals), Billy Henry (guitar and vocals), Oz Barron (bass), and Mike Kropp (banjo).

Northern Lights - Take You To The Sky - Vinyl LP on Flying Fish Records

Spyro Gyra - Point Of View - Vinyl album on MCA Records 1989

Point Of View is the thirteenth album by Spyro Gyra from 1989. The album cover shows a lizard climbing from a puddle on the pavement, up to the sidewalk next to a fire hydrant. The puddle mirrors a somewhat bizarre view of what seems like a jungle right behind the hydrant.

Spyro Gyra - Point Of View - Vinyl album on MCA Records 1989

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Patricia Shih - Leap Of Faith - Vinyl LP on Flying Fish Records

To date, Ms. Shih has written over 250 songs, both alone and in collaboration with others. She continues to perform extensively for audiences of all ages, appearing on T.V. and radio, in clubs, concerts, schools, libraries, major music festivals, and other venues, and touring internationally. She starred for a year on Cablevision's "Tell Me a Story" on the Extra Help Channel, seen twice daily, and also wrote and performed the show's theme song. She has appeared in concert with such luminaries as Pete Seeger, Bonnie Raitt, Richie Havens, David Bromberg, Tom Chapin, Livingston Taylor, Odetta, Billy Bragg, Janis Ian, and Peter Yarrow, among others. Her songs are recorded and performed by numerous other artists throughout the United States, have been published in national magazines such as Sing Out!, Broadside, and the Rise Up Singing songbook, and have won awards and accolades in the American Songwriting Festival and the New York Songwriters Showcase. Featured articles on Ms. Shih have appeared in the New York Times, Oakland Tribune, Newsday, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and AsiAm Magazine.

Patricia Shih - Leap Of Faith - Vinyl LP on Flying Fish Records

John Cougar Mellencamp - Big Daddy - Vinyl album on Mercury Records 1989

Big Daddy is the tenth studio album by John Mellencamp, released in 1989 by Mercury Records. It was his last album to be released under the name John Cougar Mellencamp, a combination of his real name and his original stage name of Johnny Cougar. The album peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200 and contained the singles Pop Singer and Jackie Brown which peaked at number fifteen and forty eight respectively on the Billboard Hot 100.

John Cougar Mellencamp - Big Daddy - Vinyl album on Mercury Records 1989

Sukay - Music Of The Andes - Vinyl Album

They have had three major group formations. The first, under the musical direction of Edmond Badoux (now of Chaskinakuy), featured his then wife, Quentin, as well as Javier Canelas and Gonzalo Vargas (who would go on as a founding member of Inkuyo). This formation of the group released two albums, "Music of the Andes" in 1978, recorded in Quebec, and released on Flying Fish records; and "Pacha Siku" in 1979, recorded in Berkeley, CA, which was released on the Aural Tradition label, in association with the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. This group formation performed together until around 1985. This group formation focused on traditional Andean Village music.

Sukay - Music Of The Andes - Vinyl Album

Monday, October 25, 2010

Alvin "Red" Tyler - Graciously - Vinyl album on jazz label Rounder Records 1987

This was the second of two late-'80s straight jazz dates by Alvin "Red" Tyler, better known for his years toiling in the city's R&B studios. Tyler savored the opportunity to do more than play short bursts, demonstrating his expansive skills on the disc's eight cuts. While the soulfulness remained in his tone, Tyler proved he could handle hard bop chord changes, build and complete ideas and head a jazz combo. The cuts "Dreamsville," "Here's That Rainy Day" and "Like So Many Others" emphasized the jazz connection, but the R&B and blues base came through on "Cutie Pie" and "Count 'Em." This was nicely played, at times above-average, jazz from a celebrated veteran getting to show another side of his musical personality.

Alvin "Red" Tyler - Graciously - Vinyl album on jazz label Rounder Records 1987

Junk Monkeys - Soul Cakes - Vinyl album on Restless Records

Formed in the mid-'80s by singer/guitarist David Bierman, guitarist Dave Boutette, bassist Kevin Perri, and drummer Dan Allen, Dearborn, MI's Junk Monkeys evolved from a previous band named Mystery Girls (no, not those Mystery Girls), and cut their teeth in Detroit clubs before finding an unlikely home with L.A.-based Metal Blade Records. Unlikely because Junk Monkey albums like 1989's Soul Cakes, 1990s Five Star Fling, and 1992's Bliss featured hook-laden power pop/punk inspired by '70s legends like Cheap Trick, Big Star, and the Flamin' Groovies; but not so far-fetched when one remembers Metal Blade had also signed the Goo Goo Dolls around the same time. In any case, just as the latter only managed to score mainstream success towards the end of their relationship with the label, the Junk Monkeys too failed to find an audience beyond Michigan and Midwestern borders during their tenure at Metal Blade, eventually departing to record a final live album in 1995's Follies Review before going their separate ways.

Junk Monkeys - Soul Cakes - Vinyl album on Restless Records

Lawndale - Sasquatch Rock - Vinyl album on SST Records

At the time that this record was released, the very idea of SST records releasing an album of instrumental surf music was bizarre. Nevertheless, if SST was going to release such an album, this was the right one. Lawndale rocks hard throughout this delightful and unpredictable album, uniting styles with effortless glee. Listen to the incredible version of the jazz standard "Take Five," which somehow contains the bridge to Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" -- what kind of twisted individual could imagine that combination? Or having imagined it, made it work in such a seamless and delightful manner? The mix of German oompah band rhythm and Tex-Mex on "Next to the Last Frontier" isn't nearly as odd, since Germans in Texas had a lot to do with the sound of that music, but never have the two influences sounded so distinct and yet so artfully melded before -- at least, when played by a rock band. "March of the Melted Army Men" is more straightforward, a kicking rock song with what is probably the only appearance on a surf album in Greg Ginn's career. The punk rock stalwart turns in a creditable and manic solo that fits in just fine with the orchestrated chaos of the song. Every cut on Sasquatch Rock is a keeper, but there is one standout, the soaring, complex "Instrumental." (Since there are no vocals on the album except for a couple of screams and groans, there is a certain delicate irony here.) "Instrumental" strings together six musical themes ranging from country and soul to jazz and, inevitably, surf music, and tosses in transitions, recaps, and mutations galore to create an amazing medley. Lawndale's output was meager, a mere two albums, but every track they released was splendid and their influence was widely felt. Sasquatch Rock is a must-have for anyone who loves instrumental electric guitar with a surf rock tinge.

Lawndale - Sasquatch Rock - Vinyl album on SST Records

Saturday, October 23, 2010

West Texas native Ely is a part of a loose confederation of players and singer-songwriters from around Lubbock whose songs have a mythical, larger-than-life quality to them. Ely, along with Jimmy Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, was briefly in an acoustic group called the Flatlanders. They released one legendarily obscure record in 1972 that was rereleased to almost ecstatic acclaim in the '90s. When Ely formed his own group in the mid-1970s, they played a hard-driving form of Honky-Tonk music that veered very close to rock. The group capitalized on the more open nature of the Outlaw Country movement and became very popular in Texas, which led to a major-label record deal. The Clash were enamored of Ely's sound and had him come to England to open a tour for them. Ely has never had anything resembling a hit record, but his incendiary live shows and near-constant touring have given him a loyal worldwide cult following.

Joe Ely - Dig All Night - Vinyl Album

David Olney - Eye Of The Storm - Vinyl Album

"Every once in a very long while, songwriters come along who become regarded as classic. The rivers of their many influences flow clear and clean through their work, but what comes out is something wholly original. Their songs sound at once timeless and fresh, with shimmers and shades from many influences flowing seamlessly into something new, something free of the fickle stamps of time and style. A perfect hybrid, a new breed unto itself. David Olney is one such writer, a defining if not definitive example of the contemporary folk-based singer-songwriter. For years, he has been a legend among his peers, revered for his keen craftsmanship, vivid emotional color, sweet sense of space and sturdy melodic grace."

David Olney - Eye Of The Storm - Vinyl Album

A side project by drummer Glenn Evans of the speed metal band Nuclear Assault, who plays the majority of the instruments on the album.

CIA - In The Red - Vinyl album featuring Glenn Evans of Nuclear Assault on Combat records

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Pretty Face - All The Boys Love Carrie - 7 inch record of Mike Scott of The Waterboys

The name Another Pretty Face also belonged to a Scottish indie band in the mid-1980s who recorded some fine singles for their own New Pleasures label, which sold in the hundreds, and one for Virgin, 'Whatever happened to the West?' that sold only a little more, despite being acclaimed in the music press. This band's lead singer Mike Scott founded the Waterboys and the rest is history...

Another Pretty Face - All The Boys Love Carrie - 7 inch record of Mike Scott of The Waterboys

Western Promise - Star Of Bethlehem - Vinyl album on Midnight Records

The Midnight Music label operated for about ten years from the early 1980s to its untimely demise at the hands of its bankers in the early 1990s - the men in suits wanted it to make money (which it didnt), but all we wanted to make was music (which we did, lots of it). They killed the company but couldnt kill the music, which lives on - juiced by regular Cherry Red and Anagram best of compilation releases of individual artists.

Western Promise - Star Of Bethlehem - Vinyl album on Midnight Records

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Harvest Theory - From The Back - Blue vinyl 7 inch on Springbox Records 1984

From the ashes of Monsula, and after some false starts with Dave E.C. (Winona Riders, Filth, Pot Valiant, Vagrants), Richie Bucher (Sweet Baby Jesus, Winona Riders), Joe Bansuelo (7 Seconds--and owner of the loudest SVT on the planet), and Dan O'Mahoney (411, No For an Answer, Carry Nation), Harvest Theory formed in 1993 and played for about three years

Harvest Theory - From The Back - Blue vinyl 7 inch on Springbox Records 1984

Compilation - Program Annihilator - Double LP with Saint Vitus Black Flag Overkill DC3 SWA on SST Records

Compilation - Program Annihilator - Double Vinyl Album

Song List
War Is Our Destiny - Saint Vitus
White Stallions - Saint Vitus
Darkness - Saint Vitus
White Magic/Black Magic - Saint Vitus
Annihilate This Week - Black Flag
Society's Tease - Black Flag
You're Not Evil - Black Flag
Beat My Head Against The Wall - Black Flag
Thirsty And Miserable - Black Flag
Victimized - Overkill
Ladies In Leather - Overkill
Locust, The - D. C. 3
Maniac, The - D. C. 3
Catacombs - SWA
Sex Doctor - SWA
Sine Cosine - SWA
Feast - Wurm
Bad Habits - Wurm

Compilation - Program Annihilator - Double LP with Saint Vitus Black Flag Overkill DC3 SWA on SST Records

Peaceful Meadows Vs Stink - Rumble In The Vinyl - Double (2) seven inch vinyl on Allied Records

Peaceful Meadows Vs Stink - Rumble In The Vinyl - Double (2) seven inch vinyl on Allied Records

Monday, August 16, 2010

Madonna - Rain - Picture disc vinyl LP on Sire Records 1993

Madonna - Rain - Picture disc vinyl LP on Sire Records 1993

Rachel Buchman - Hello Rachel! Hello children! Songs and singing games from the U.S. and around the world - Vinyl album on Rounder

When Rachel Buchman sings, children listen. This recording presents material in English, Spanish, Italian and Chinese and finds the award-winning performer where she is most at home -- singing with a group of young children. Parents, teachers and children alike will join in with Rachel as she explores the world through song.

Rachel Buchman - Hello Rachel! Hello children! Songs and singing games from the U.S. and around the world - Vinyl album on Rounder

Northern Lights - Take You To The Sky - Vinyl LP on Flying Fish Records

Northern Lights is a New England-based bluegrass band known for their creative and distinct sound. The band consists of Taylor Armerding (mandolin and vocals), Billy Henry (guitar and vocals), Oz Barron (bass), and Mike Kropp (banjo).

Northern Lights - Take You To The Sky - Vinyl LP on Flying Fish Records

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sabia - Portavoz - Vinyl album on Flying Fish Records

The ambitious and eclectic 2nd album from the U.S nueva canción group captured at the height of their popularity and creativity. Includes “Tambor de Aluminio,” “Frente al Balance, Mañana,” “A Song for Soweto” and more.
We carry tons of old out of press Flying Fish LPs

Lotion - Full Isaac - Vinyl LP on Spin Art Records

Though their influences (Bob Mould, R.E.M., My Bloody Valentine) were a tad undigested at this early stage, Lotion's debut remains one of the most inventive and unusual rock albums of 1994. Pounding drums and thick, creative bass parts bolster a dizzying array of guitar textures: crashing, cascading, chiming, wailing -- and that's just "Tear," the lead track and first single. Track two, "Dr. Link," showcases the band at its most adventurous. Twanging, almost country-ish guitar alternates with noisy thrash while an intricate bass pattern joins the bashing drums in groove-band-style synergy. The album begins to sag under the weight of its self-consciousness toward the end, but the anything-goes approach (tabla on "Long," cellos on "Around," courtesy of Rasputina) keeps things fresh most of the way through. Tony Zajkowski's high, plaintive vocals give an emotional charge to the songs, and the cryptic bits of lyrics that rise to the surface are never less than intriguing. The odd, cerebral song structures never settle into anything familiar, so each listen is like the first, an exploration of uncharted territory. This is the crux of Full Isaac's achievement: It is an album of passionate, exciting rock music that does not become predictable for a single moment.
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Wolfhounds - Blown Away - UK import vinyl album on Midnight Records

The Wolfhounds were an indie rock band formed in Romford, Essex, England in 1985 by Dave Callahan, Paul Clark, Andy Golding, Andy Bolton and Frank Stebbing.

Blown Away is a far noisier, more experimental album than the previous Unseen Ripples From a Pebble. As such, the Wolfhounds failed to become the indie pop darlings that other C-86 contemporaries achieved (e.g., the Wedding Present or the Bodines). Still this album is not without merit. The trashy guitar is somewhat reminiscent of Sonic Youth, bouncing along to the bass and vocal influence of the Fall or even Krautrock. Distinctly lacking, however, is a great pop song in a similar vein to "Cruelty" or "Anti-Midas Touch." The unusual rhythms of Blown Away mean that this album is destined to grow on the listener. Unfortunately, there is no baited hook to catch the casual nighttime radio browser.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Phillip Walker - Blues - Vinyl Album

Phillip Walker is a bluesman unafraid to showcase a variety of styles and his rare forays into the studio are always an eclectic pleasure. "Walking Girl Blues" is possibly the Primer favourite but as that now appears to be tricky to get hold of and you should have a litle PW in your starter collection, "Blues" gets the nod as it has the original version of 'Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark'.

Even more cool blues here!

Fred Small - I Will Stand Fast - Vinyl Album

The political insight and human compassion that inspired Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Fred Small to seek a law degree continues to be expressed in his folk-rooted songs. Over the past two decades, Small has musically addressed everything from homosexuality in the military and the unnecessary difficulties of the disabled to radioactive frogs and a moose's infatuation with a cow. Pete Seeger, Rosalie Sorrels, The Flirtations, Steve Gillette and Priscilla Herdman are only some of the many musicians who have covered Small's songs. Small's tune, "Everything Possible" was used for the finale of the AIDS benefit musical, Heart Strings, in 1992.

Even more killer tunes here!

Elements - Blown Away - Vinyl Album

Music Composed and arranged by Mark Egan & Danny Gottlieb for the windsurfing movie "Blown Away", a Paul Witzig film.

Clock here to see more super rare vinyl!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jeanie Stahl - All Grown Up - Vinyl Album

Marblehead, Massachusetts-based songstress Jeanie Stahl was on the crest of a promising solo career, in 1983, when a tragic wind surfing accident prevented her from performing for two years. Although she had just released her debut solo album, I'm Just Fooling Myself, Stahl was left healing her wounds as the album went largely un-promoted. While Stahl subsequently resumed her career, much of the momentum was lost.

Stahl first attracted attention in a duo that she shared, in the late-1970s and early-80s, with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Mason Daring. Besides collaborating on two albums -- Sweet Melodies In The Night, Heartbreak and The Early Years -- Stahl and Daring recorded Daring's soundtracks for several John Sayles-directed films. The Early Years, released in 1992, samples tracks from their two albums and movie soundtracks. In addition to performing frequently at New England folk music clubs and coffeehouses, the duo periodically joined with Bill Staines, Guy Van Duser and Billy Novick in the folk super-group, The Passim All-Stars.

With the increase demand for Daring's time as a producer and soundtrack composer, Stahl began to perform as a soloist in the early-1980s. Although she's turned the songs of such songwriters as Gordon Lightfoot, Robin Batteau and Randy Newman into heartfelt experiences, Stahl remains as effective singing jazz standards from the 1930s and '40s.

Click here to check out more Jeanie Stahl

Doug MacLeod - No Road Back Home - Vinyl Album

Doug MacLeod, the four time W.C. Handy Nominee who has songs on two Grammy Nominated Albums, was born in New York City, spent his formative years in North Carolina, moved back to New York, and was in his teens when his family moved to St. Louis, where he first heard the blues. In the mid-60's he enlisted in the Navy, and while stationed at Norfolk, VA., began to play acoustic country blues in the coffeehouses in Virginia and Maryland. During this time he met the one-eyed Blues-man Ernest Banks who taught him not only the music of the blues, but the philosophy of the blues. Doug's quotes, 'Never Play a Note You Don't Believe' and "Never write or sing about what you don't know about.' came from those 'countrified teachings'. Following his service in the Navy, Doug attended school, played the blues guitar part in the show 'Grease', explored jazz, and toured with Mary MacGregor supporting her number one hit 'Torn Between Two Lovers'. After a meeting with Shakey Jake Harris in 1977, Doug returned to his roots and began playing the blues in the Los Angeles area.
Doug's reputation as a superb guitar player spread quickly as he played with such blues giants as Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, Big Mama Thornton, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and Big Joe Turner. Also in Los Angeles, he met the legendary George "Harmonica" Smith, who became not only one of his best friends, but also a mentor and major influence on his music and his life.

Unlike some other bluesmen now leading their own bands, guitarist and singer/songwriter Doug MacLeod spent many years as an apprentice before forming his own band. MacLeod has worked as a sideman for many different artists from the Los Angeles-area blues scene, including Big Joe Turner, Charles Brown, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and George "Harmonica" Smith. MacLeod was born in New York on April 21, 1946, and his parents moved to St. Louis shortly after his birth. He spent his teen years frequenting the blues clubs there, learning from people like Albert King, Little Milton, and Ike and Tina Turner. He took up the bass in his teens and played around St. Louis with local bands before enlisting in the Navy. MacLeod was stationed in Norfolk, VA, and spent his off-duty time playing in blues bars. He eventually settled in Los Angeles, accompanying many other blues performers before forming his own band. His songs have been recorded by Albert King, Albert Collins, and Son Seals. MacLeod's 1984 album, No Road Back Home, was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award in 1984 and has since been reissued on compact disc on the Hightone label. MacLeod has widely available albums on Audioquest -- Come to Find (1994), You Can't Take My Blues (1996), Unmarked Road (1997), and Whose Truth, Whose Lies? (2000). His first Audioquest disc features guest appearances by harmonica players Carey Bell and fiddle player Heather Hardy, while the second has a guest appearance by harp player George "Harmonica" Smith. MacLeod has also recorded for a variety of independent labels, including such albums as Woman in the Street, 54th and Vermont, and Ain't the Blues Evil. 2002 saw the release of MacLeod's A Little Sin, recorded in July of that year with producer/frequent collaborator Joe Harley.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

If you like the Screaming Trees, you gotta check out....

Screaming Trees was a musical group considered part of the grunge music movement of the early 1990s. Founded in Ellensburg, Washington in 1985, their sound was a mixture of arty '60s psychedelia and west-coast punk rock. Though highly regarded among critics, they never achieved the superstardom of other grunge acts such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains or Pearl Jam. They disbanded after touring for their last record, Dust, released in 1996.

Hell and its even on clear vinyl

The leaving trains blue vinyl 7 Inch

An indie-rock subversive who has been known to perform in dresses almost as much as his ex-wife Courtney Love, Falling James (Moreland) has led the Leaving Trains with a revolving lineup since the group formed in 1980. Originally in a Los Angeles punk band named the Mongrels during 1978-79, Falling James formed the Downers in 1980 (with David Roback, later of Mazzy Star, and John Hoffs, the brother of the Bangles sisters) and then the Leaving Trains later that year, with guitarist Manfred Hofer, bassist Tom Hofer, keyboard player Sylvia Juncosa and drummer Hillary Laddin. The band gigged around the area during the next three years, but included only the Hofer brothers by the time Leaving Trains debuted on vinyl with 1984's Well Down Blue Highway, on Bemisbrain/Enigma Records.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Arthur Tracy - (The Street Singer) I Bring A Song - Vinyl album on Halcyon Records

Arthur Tracy (25 June 1899 - 5 October 1997) was an American vocalist, billed as The Street Singer. His performances in theatre, films and radio, along with his recordings, brought him international fame in the 1930s. Late evening radio listeners tuned in to hear announcer David Ross' introduction ("Round the corner and down your way comes The Street Singer") and Tracy's familiar theme song, "Marta, Rambling Rose of the Wildwood."

Learn more about this great release here! Click Now!

AR Kanes - Remixes - Vinyl album experimental british pop on Rough Trade Records

A.R. Kane (or A R Kane or A.R.Kane) were an experimental 1980s and 1990s British dream pop band. Their name derived from the "A" in Alex (Ayuli) and the "R" in Rudi (Tambala), the band's core multi-instrumentalist duo. The duo hailed from the East side of London. Often surrealist and usually danceable, due to its strong dub influence, the band's music is seen as a seminal influence on genres such as dream pop, trip hop, acid house, and post-rock. Their lyrics frequently dealt with such topics as water/oceans, love, colors, childhood, and dreams.

More great Rough Trade Records releases here!

April Wine - Animal Grace - Vinyl album Canadian rock band on Capitol Records 1984

April Wine is a Canadian rock band formed in 1969. According to the band, they chose the name 'April Wine' simply because members thought the two words sounded good together. The band went on to release more than twenty albums and forge a live performance reputation that still sees them drawing devoted crowds across Canada and around the world thirty-nine years after taking their first steps into the hard rock spotlight.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Apology - Pass You By - Vinyl album producted by Vic Bondi of Articles Of Faith on Wishingwell Records 1988

Produced by Vic Bondi of Articles Of Faith and Jones Very
Features Mike Gitter on Vocals and Jeff Goddard of Jones Very on Bass

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Anson Funderburgh And The Rockets featuring Sam Miers - Rack'em Up - Vinyl album on Black Top / Demon Records

In recent years, Dallas-based guitarist Anson Funderburgh has taken his band the Rockets out of the clubs and onto the festival stages with his critically acclaimed recordings for the BlackTop label out of New Orleans. With Jackson, MS-native Sam Myers delivering the vocals and harmonica treatments, this band mixes up a powerful gumbo of Texas jump blues and Delta blues that can't be found anywhere else. Funderburgh and his Rockets are a particularly hard working band, performing across the U.S. and Europe nearly 300 nights a year.

Funderburgh was born November 15, 1954, and got hooked on the blues when he got his first guitar at age seven or eight. His first musical experiences happened in the clubs in Dallas. He developed his team approach to blues music while learning from the likes of Freddie King, Jimmy Reed and Albert Collins when these great bluesmen were passing through Dallas-area clubs, but Funderburgh had already taught himself guitar mostly from listening to classic blues records. He never had the chance to see Muddy Waters, but he did get to play with Lightnin' Hopkins in the late '70s. Funderburgh formed the Rockets in 1978, but didn't meet Sam Myers until 1982.

Funderburgh recorded with the Fabulous Thunderbirds on their Butt Rockin' album, and went solo in 1981, when the New Orleans-based BlackTop label released Talk to You by Hand, the label's first release. Funderburgh added Myers on harmonica and lead vocals in 1986. Myers had traveled for years on the chitlin circuit, where he had the chance to accompany people like Elmore James and Robert Junior Lockwood. Funderburgh admits that adding Myers on vocals and harmonica was a turning point for the Rockets, partly because of the image they project from the stage, a big towering Black man and three White guys backing him up. Funderburgh continued his association in the 90's with Black Top releasing Tell Me What I Want to Hear (91), Live at Grand Emporium (95), and That's What They Want (97). After releasing 9 albums on Black Top, in 1999 Funderburgh changed record labels with the release of Change in my Pocket for Bullseye Blues. At the beginning of the new millennium, Funderburgh is just coming into his prime by way of his songwriting talents, so his career deserves close watching in the coming years. The best is yet to come from this guitarist and bandleader.

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Anne Hills - Woman Of Calm Heart - Vinyl album on Flying Fish Records

Released in 1987, this album features, among others, Livingston Taylor (vocals on Akasha Wind); Cindy Mangsen, Rory Block, Ilene Weiss on background vocals; Scott Petito on bass and keyboards, and Artie Traum on guitar. Petito and Traum also produced the album.

As Annes touring schedule and prominence grew, Flying Fish Records added Hogeye Records to their growing catalog. Shortly after the release of her second solo recording Woman of a Calm Heart (produced in Woodstock by Artie Traum and Scott Petito, featuring a duet with Livingston Taylor), Anne began her occasional but very fruitful musical partnership with Cindy Mangsen and Priscilla Herdman. This culminated in the first trio recording Voices (1990, Flying Fish).

Click here to check out more Anne Hill

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ann Charters - A Joplin Bouqet / Scott Joplin Rags - Vinyl album on GNP Crescendo 1973

Piano. A late '50s, early '60s ragtime pianist who had brief notoriety thanks to good 1960 Folkways album Essay in Ragtime. Ann Charters executed difficult ragtime charts effectively and efficiently. She resurfaced with new recordings briefly in '70s.

Mellow yet cool

Angst - Mending Wall - Vinyl album on punk rock label SST Records

Angst was an American punk rock band from Denver, Colorado, formed in 1979. They played initially under the name The Instants. One of their early appearances on record was on the Alternative Tentacles compilation, Not So Quiet on the Western Front. After moving briefly to the United Kingdom, they settled in San Francisco, where they changed their name to Angst. Following this, the group released five full-length albums on the independent record label SST Records. The Angst song Just Me appears on the SST compilation, The Blasting Concept Vol. II.

A Great classic of punk rock history

Angst - Cry For Happy - Vinyl album on SST Records

The three gentlemen in the band called Angst had definitely done their rock & roll homework when they made this album, and they knew the elements that mix to make a great three-minute song. This mix of up-tempo pop with elements of country twang and punk energy has an innocence and enthusiasm that makes the album timeless. The bluesy organ work on the slow-burning cover of "Motherless Child" could have come from any Steppenwolf album, and there's a hint of Mersey in the harmonies of "Time to Understand." There are some clinkers among the stellar tracks, but even those are rather endearing; "My Dinner With Debbie" is a love song to a woman who is a good cook, and it sounds like it was written and recorded by a band who had missed several meals. Overall, Cry for Happy is a marvelous work of pop craftsmanship that has three or four pieces that should've been at least minor hits. Listen to the hook-laden perfection of "I Could Never Change Your Mind" or "Long Road" and listeners will find themselves wondering what the radio programmers were listening to that was half this good.

This realease even sounds good on CD, click here!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alvin "Red" Tyler - Graciously - Vinyl album on jazz label Rounder Records 1987

This was the second of two late-'80s straight jazz dates by Alvin "Red" Tyler, better known for his years toiling in the city's R&B studios. Tyler savored the opportunity to do more than play short bursts, demonstrating his expansive skills on the disc's eight cuts. While the soulfulness remained in his tone, Tyler proved he could handle hard bop chord changes, build and complete ideas and head a jazz combo. The cuts "Dreamsville," "Here's That Rainy Day" and "Like So Many Others" emphasized the jazz connection, but the R&B and blues base came through on "Cutie Pie" and "Count 'Em." This was nicely played, at times above-average, jazz from a celebrated veteran getting to show another side of his musical personality.

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Alter Natives - Group Therapy - Vinyl album on SST Records with members of Gwar

Originating in Richmond, VA and signed to an experimentally minded SST records in the late '80s, the Alter-Natives were a flute and sax led improv-esque quartet that received high marks for their instrumental brand of noise. Both 1986's Hold Your Tongue and 1988's Group Therapy were based around this set up, but 1989's Buzz scaled back the flute and sax for a more traditional set up, using the old favorites: drums, bass, and guitar. As a strange aside, the Alter-Natives also carried within their ranks an early member of cartoon metal crazies, GWAR. Drummer Jim Thompson played with the foam-padded pariahs until 1987 as Hans Sphincter (later changed to Hans Orifice).

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Alistair Anderson - Steel Skies - Vinyl album from Northumberland England on Flying Fish Records 1982

The music traditions of Northumberland, a small region in northeast England that borders Scotland, have been promoted by English concertina and smallpipe player Alistair Anderson. A founding member of the High Level Ranters, the group most associated with the revival of Northumberland music in the 1970s, Anderson has continued to explore the music of his homeland as a soloist.
Anderson and band perform recently composed tunes.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Alan Rankine - The World Begins To Look Her Age - Vinyl album on Attitude Records 1986

Best known as the other half of Associates, Alan Rankine's musical career actually began in the mid-'70s as guitarist for Caspian, a cabaret band based in Scotland. During 1976, his band was looking for a new singer; during a performance by a band called Stan & Deliver, singer Billy Mackenzie's talents were brought to his attention. Rankine nabbed Mackenzie for Caspian, but the two eventually chucked the cabaret circuit to assault the U.K. pop charts as Associates.

After internal tensions busted the duo up in late 1982, Rankine traveled around the world and started lending his production skills to the likes of the Cocteau Twins, Pale Fountains, and Paul Haig. In 1986, Rankine signed on to the Belgian Crepuscule label as a solo act. While producing some of the label's artists, he also found time to record The World Begins to Look Her Age. The following year, Virgin released the wider distributed She Loves Me Not, another full-length that included a trio of songs from his debut. The Big Picture Sucks, a completely instrumental album, was issued by Crepuscule in 1989. An early-'90s reunion with Mackenzie never reached fruition due to failed label negotiations and the singer's restless creativity. Distancing himself from recording and production throughout the remainder of the '90s, Rankine became involved in lecturing on music at a college in Glasgow, in addition to writing songs for pop groups. Oddly enough, Rankine can be partially credited with the rise of Belle & Sebastian. Assigned to make a record as a project for one of his classes, the group submitted their legendary Tigermilk LP.

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Al Grey - Basic Grey - Vinyl double album featuring trombonist Al Grey on Chess Records

This double LP reissues two complete albums by trombonist Al Grey (The Elder and Bluish Grey and The Al Grey-Billy Mitchell Sextet), plus seven of the ten numbers on Snap Your Fingers. Originally released by the Cadet label, this music features the colorful trombonist (long a master of the plunger mute, but also able to play fast boppish lines) in septets and an octet with such notable sidemen as trumpeters Joe Newman, Henry Boozier, Dave Burns and Donald Byrd, trombonist Bennie Powell, tenorman Billy Mitchell, pianist Herbie Hancock and (on two of his first sessions) vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. The repertoire alternates swing standards, blues, and more modern pieces. Since this music has yet to be reissued on CD, this two-fer is definitely worth picking up.

A Double album at the same price as a single?!? Check it out!

Al Copley - Automatic Overdrive - Blues pianist and singer vinyl on Black Top Records

Blues pianist and singer Al Copley was born in 1952 in Buffalo, NY. Although his family moved several times while Copley was a youngster (first to San Francisco, CA, then Westerly, RI), he was able to take piano lessons on a regular basis. Inspired by the boogie-woogie style of playing, Copley formed his first band in 1965, Ponce de Leon & the Young Ones, before forming Roomful of Blues three years later. Copley spent the early '70s attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston, while still playing with Roomful of Blues. The group began issuing albums in the later part of the decade, as Copley could be heard on such releases as 1977's self-titled debut, 1979's Let's Have a Party, 1981's Hot Little Mama, and 1984's Dressed Up to Get Messed Up. But it was also in 1984 that Copley left the group to move to Europe. The move led to numerous appearances at jazz and blues festivals, as Copley embarked on a solo career later in the decade that resulted in such releases as 1986's A Handful of Key and 1989's Automatic Overdrive.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Agitpop - Open Seasons - Art punk band on Twin Tone Records 1988

Agitpop is an art punk band from Poughkeepsie, New York. The band was formed in 1981 and began touring widely in 1983. They released four records on the Comm3, Twintone and Rough Trade labels. Its members include Mark LaFalce, John deVries and Rick Crescini. The band was a pioneer in the underground music community and known for their unusual song styles, instrumentation and lyrical content within the rock genre. The shows attracted many celebrated members of the New York arts scene including the Pop Art era photographer Billy Name.

The portmanteau Agitpop is derived from agitprop and is a conjugation of agitation pop, a now well defined label that describes how popular music asserts political ideas and views. The band members were enamored with the idea and the origins of the word from the Russian Revolution and used the repetition and philosophy of it within pop culture. Agitpop as a term can be applied to the name of the band itself, but also translates well into the character of the songs themselves.

Agitpops music has been often been described as a unique brand of fractured pop, derived from the dismantling of rock as we know it. At the time Agitpop was making their first records, the description worked as a default definition of the approach to music the band was taking. Keeping with description and adhering to the needs of the times to re define rock music, they were consequent and therefore no one else sounded like them. The live shows were a natural extension of the philosophy of the band. Agitpop's performances were very confrontational. They alienated the audience or drew them in.

In a review of one of the shows in the mid 1980s, Agitpops unique stylistic approach to rock music was described with the phrase Free your mind and your ass will follow. The review gesture followed them continually around throughout the bands existence. Whether they are put into the music categories of the times or not, they have had a strong influence on many younger bands having diverse styles due to their willingness in dismantling, or emancipating rock by boldly moving away from standard instrumentations and song styles into a resultant provocative amalgam with strong melodic hooks and poignant lyrics.

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Acid Drinkers - Are You A Rebel? - Vinyl album of Polish thrash metal on Under One Flag Records

Acid Drinkers band was founded on 21 September 1986 at the initiative of Tomasz "Titus" Pukacki (vocals, bass) and Robert "Litza" Friedrich (guitar, vocals). The lineup soon expanded as Darek "Popcorn" Popowicz (lead guitar) and a drummer Piotr "Chomik" Kulk (shortly after replaced by Maciej "Ślimak" Starosta) joined the band. With this lineup the band worked on its own compositions; numbers like "Barmy Army", "Del Rocca" or "I Mean Acid" appeared. Within a month of the band's creation Titus was called up to the army and left his pals for two years. Others, in the meantime, did not intend to idle their time away: Litza and Popcorn undertook a reactivation of the band named Slavoy. Soon both of them received a proposal to play for reputable groups: Popcorn from Wolf Spider, Litza from Turbo.

After returning from the army, Titus tried to reactivate his first squad - Los Desperados. His attempts misfired and Titus himself, after meeting with Popcorn, decided to resume existence of Acid Drinkers. Litza and Ślimak joined the band. Their debut took place on 26th August 1989 on Wyspa Słodowa in Wrocław. That performance was actually the beginning of the band's true career. Rumors about a new, excellent metal group swiftly spread across Poland. Soon afterwards the Acids received an opportunity to record an album and continue walking along their path of glory. With this lineup there emerged their best-known classics, including their debut, "Are You A Rebel?", "Vile Vicious Vision" and their most famous long-play, "Infernal Connection". At the end of 1998, Litza decided to leave the band. Przemysław "Perła" Wejmann, a singing guitarist and a leader of Guess Why, replaced him. With "Perła" on board, Acids recorded three albums "Amazing Atomic Activity", "Broken Head" and "Acidofilia". At the very beginning of 2003, Perła made up his mind to leave the squad. It took almost a month before the new guitarist was chosen. The new member turned out to be a well-known frontman of an already disbanded group - Illusion - Tomek "Lipa" Lipnicki. Together with Lipa, the Acids recorded a well-received long-play, "Rock Is Not Enough". After over a year of cooperation, the new guitarist left Acid Drinkers for his own project, Lipali. His place in the squad was taken over by Aleksander "Olass" Mendyk from "None". The new member of Acid's crew quickly integrated himself into the band, in which he still plays. At present Acid Drinkers play numerous concerts and plan to record a new album.

To date, Acid Drinkers are widely considered the best and most spectacular thrash-metal band in Poland. Their popularity has gone far beyond typical metal music sphere. The Acids have played over 500 shows, and many of those will surely stay in minds of thousands of fans – it would be enough to mention Jarocin festivals, Metalmania, Węgorzewo, Przystanek Woodstock or Odjazdy. The Acids performed there as foreground celebrities. They preceded performances in Poland by, among others, Deep Purple, Megadeth, Bruce Dickinson, Sepultura, Paradise Lost and Slayer. Moreover, many known polish artists such as: Edyta Bartosiewicz, Kazik Staszewski, Tomek Lipnicki, Patrycja Kosiarkiewicz or Grzegorz Skawiński took part in Acids’ recordings. Acid Drinkers were three times (on 1998, 2000, 2004) awarded with a Fryderyk in the hard and heavy category, and received in 1998 from TVP 2 the "Złoty bączek" (Golden spinning top) award for being the best music group from Poland. Additionally, they were acknowledged as one of the five best polish bands of the 1990s (together with Hey, Kazik Staszewski, Edyta Bartosiewicz and O.N.A.) by journalists and readers of Tylko Rock (Only Rock) magazine.

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