Following Guerssen/Sommer’s re-issue of Beau’s “Creation”, Cherry Red are releasing “Shoeless In The Desert”. It’s a download set of fourteen new recordings by the master singer-songwriter and whilst sonically not embarking on new territory, the 12-string led album’s subjects are as diverse as ever.
From conquest/imperialism of “Storm In The Eye Of God”, there’s the dense thickets of imaginary of “The Oyster & The Pearl” to the folk prettiness of “Masquarade “.
Beau’s guitar playing is as strong and nimble as it was in the late 60’s attested by “This Is Your Dream”. Finishing with “The Atheist Hymn” the song reconnects the listener with the subject matter of 1971’s “Blind Faith” from “Creation”. So with Beau’s musicianship and his lyrical muses as strong as his work for Dandelion Records 45 years ago those who love that material and bought “Creation” recently should definitely seek out “Shoeless In The Desert”.
At the turn of this year I posted a review of the fantastic debut single by The Moon Band. ‘Cedar People’ b/w ‘My Home’ had a acid-folk sound with both tracks sitting neatly alongside material from period comp ‘Gather in the Mushrooms’.
On ‘Cedar People’ their were strains of Tull (with flute centre stage), early Kate Bush and Tyrannosaurus Rex. ‘My Home’ conversely echoed Canadian compatriot Joni Mitchell. What tied both tracks were their classic appeal.
So it was interesting to hear if multi-instrumentalists Nicholas Tomlinson and Renee Forrester’s could keep up the quality on a long player. It resoundingly does with opener ‘Comin’ Back Babe’ highlighting their strong melody and harmonies, ‘Silver and Gold’ then shows their more ethereal side.
With the two excellent single tracks retained other high spots include the psych-folk ‘Of The North’ and the Donovan echoing ‘Tobacco Farm’.
So please grab a copy, take a listen and spread the word on this magical album.
Mega Dodo have releasing some excellent material – principally in the pop-psych mold – like The Honey Pot and Octopus Syng. This new album with multi-instrumentalist Will Z sees the label branching into prog-rock. Whilst I’m not the world’s biggest prog fan, ‘New Start’ is rather lovely in places.
Opener Jain Devotion is a melodic, languid delight accented by flute and synth with gentle lyrics. ‘Namo’ comes straight out of the Mike Oldfield, Tubular-Ommadawn playbook but feels new rather than a retread of previous work.
‘Greek Loop’ is in turns beautiful and eerie. The final sections of ‘Jain Devotion’ rounds off the album fittingly adding some electric guitar flourishes.
So given my tastes if you have even a passing interest in the proggier side of things, this is definitely worth exploring.
Out 2 June at Mega Dodo, limited to 250 White Vinyl LP and 250 CDs it’s sure to go fast.
In the final show of a two part podcast, legendary engineer Phill Brown shares stories from his autobiography ‘Are We Still Rolling?’.
This show takes us from Phill’s latter day sessions engineering for Island, including recording landmark albums by Steve Winwood and John Martyn; navigating the 1980s with Talk Talk, to critical and commercial success in the 1990s to the present day, with Robert Plant, Dido, Bombay Bicycle Club, Mark Nevin, Crazy World of Arthur Brown and more.
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Boston Tea Party (SAHB Stories, Mountain, 1976)
Stomu Yamashta/ Steve Winwood/ Michael Shrieve – Air Over/Crossing The Line/Man of Leo (Go, Island, 1976)
Steve Winwood -Vacant Chair (Steve Winwood, Island, 1977)
John Martyn – One World (One World, Island, 1977)
Talk Talk – I Believe In You (Spirit of Eden, Parlophone, 1988)
Kristin Hersh – Your Ghost (Hips and Makers, 4AD, 1994)
Dido – Thank You (No Angel, Arista/Cheeky, 1999)
Robert Plant – Morning Dew (Dreamland, Mercury, 2002)
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man – Romance (Out Of Season, Go! Beat, 2002)
Midnight Choir – Requiem (Waiting For The Bricks To Fall, S2, 2003)
Bombay Bicycle Club – Flaws (Flaws, Mmm/Universal, 2010)
Mark Nevin – Beautiful Guitars (Beautiful Guitars, Raresong Recordings, 2014)
Crazy World of Arthur Brown – Zim Zam Zim (Zim Zam Zim, Bronzerat, 2014)
The first part of this podcast, including link to accompanying written feature, can be found at:
This new collection from one of New Zealand’s top beat bands, Larry’s Rebels, tracks the band’s progression from 1965 to 1969 showing why won over the likes of Jimmy Page and Tom Jones. At first they largely relied on covers and things really took off with their breathless remake of The Artwoods ‘I Feel Good’; a chugging beat anthem on it’s 1966 release.
Almost as good is a rocky retake of The Small Faces ‘Whatcha Gonna Do ‘Bout It’ which refashions it into a Yardbirds style monster. Continuing in the same vain is 1967’s ‘Painter Man’ that holds it’s own with The Creation’s original bringing them their first national hit. In fact touring with The Yardbirds saw Jimmy Page inspiring embyonic songwriting although ‘Flying Scotsman’ stayed a little too close to ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’ for comfort. But it was a start and ‘Dream Time’ and ‘Let’s Think of Something’ showed a progression, with harmonies becoming more prominent.
1968’s ‘Fantasy’ saw a further advancement into psychedelia. Taking their lead from the English childlike take on the genre, the strings back this Snow White tale splendidly. ‘Halloween’ also brings psych into this youthful ghoulish number.
Psych was only a flitting period and they soon returned to the straight ahead pop of ‘Mo’reen’. However in 1969 lead singer Larry Morris left to start his solo career and the band carried on another year as The Rebels, with ‘My Son John’ being the highlight.
In January 1970 they split leaving some of the most notable records from New Zealand in the beat era. Whilst not as prolific or producing the range of material as compatriots The Fourmyula, Larry’s Rebels left behind some of the best 60s pop from down under. This CD is part of a new RPM series with Frenzy Music on artists from New Zealand and Australia so here’s to some more excellent releases.
David ‘Davy’ O’List is universally known as one of the most groundbreaking and talented guitarists of British rock scene.
Springing from the innovative 60s scene with psych-rock band The Attack, he moved to The Nice where he played and produced on one of the first progressive rock albums in ‘The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjak’. Since the 70s Davy has been instrumental in launching Roxy Music, played with Jet plus a string of talented artists before branching into an solo career.
Davy has an exciting new album due out, ‘Second Thoughts’ so Jason Barnard speaks to him to hear about his new project and look back over his incredible career: