Friday, November 25, 2011

V.A. - Live! From The Grooveyard (1967)

It's hard to believe that New Westminster could be the heart of the R&B Scene, but there it was, the mid 60's, and IKE AND TINA TURNER were on the bill! The former Hollywood Bowl, under new ownership of Les Vogt and the management of Douglas Miller, became the short lived Grooveyard, and took its rightful place in local music history. MARVIN GAYE, ETTA JAMES, LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER, THE SPINNERS, and BO DIDDLEY performed there, as well as hot Northwest groups THE KINGSMEN, PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS, DON AND THE GOODTIMES, and even THE SONICS. Most importantly, The Grooveyard gave some of Vancouver's hottest acts a stage and, on some very special evenings, you could see up to ten live bands and dance 'til you dropped. It just didn't get any better. The original album was the brainchild of Les Vogt, band manager, concert promoter, rockabilly performer, and owner of the Grooveyard. He thought the album would generate more publicity for the club and the bands in his management stable. He took his idea to musician and song writer Tom Northcott and local entrepreneur Jack Herschorn at their offices, where they operated New Syndrome Records.
All the songs on the album were recorded and engineered by Robin Spurgin at his studio. [..] The songs were not really recorded live in the club, but were actually played live in the studio with no added overdubs. Oddly, the crowd noise that was added to the background was recorded at the Arctic Club (a Vancouver Jazz venue) and not at the Grooveyard.
[..] Recorded in 1966 and released in 1967, the originals pressing of the double album was only 1000 copies (making it one of the most sought after albums in Vancouver record collector circles). Doug Cuthbert, the original drummer for the Night Train Revue, did the original cover design.
(taken from the liner notes)

Neptoon Records was responsible for this re-issue (Neptoon 005 / 2004) and as one might expect it consists mainly of Soul and R&B covers. Not a bad album, all bands are competent and the music has a special Northwest sound. The Stags for instance did a fine cover of The Wailers' "Out Of Our Tree" as well as an innocent version of The Byrds' "It Won't Be Wrong", The Shockers could easily find place on any "Northwest Battle Of The Bands" volume and The Shantelles' cover of "Have Love Will Travel" leans more towards to The Sonics than to the Richard Berry original (but in a smooth way). Live! From The Grooveyard is surely an artifact but also a hipshaker and quite good listen through.

1. Epics - It's Growing
2. Epics - Knock On Wood
3. Night Train Revue - Letter Song
4. Night Train Revue - 99-1/2
5. Soul Unlimited - Get Out Of My Life Woman
6. Soul Unlimited - Choo Choo
7. Kentish Steele & The Shantelles - Have Love Will Travel
8. Kentish Steele & The Shantelles - Land Of 1000 Dances
9. Kentish Steele & The Shantelles - Leaving Here
10. Kentish Steele & The Shantelles - Mercy Mercy
11. Stags - It Won't Be Wrong
12. Stags - Out Of Our Tree
13. Shockers - You Don't Love Me
14. Shockers - It's You Alone
15. Nocturnals - Mustang Sally
16. Soul Unlimited - Little Joe
17. Soul Unlimited - Something You Got
18. Night Train Revue - Sometimes I Wonder
19. Night Train Revue - You Don't Know Like I Know
20. Epics - Cleo's Back
21. Epics - If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time
22. Shockers - Don't Bring Me Down
23. Shockers - You Better Run
24. Nocturnals - Slow Down
25. Nocturnals - You Make Me Feel So Good
26. Nocturnals - Get On Back
27. Stags - Drive My Car
28. Stags - Everybody Knows (I Still Love You)

Jayson Hoover (vcls)
Jim Harmata (gtr)
Bob Kidd (bs)
Bill Gibson (keyb'ds)
Gunther Klaus (sax)
Dave MacPhail (drms)

Chuck Flintroy (vcls)
Sy Risby (vcls)
Suzanne Cliff (vcls)
Chuck Cliff (organ)

Carl Graves (vcls)
Bob Nahirnak (gtr)
Wayne Pealo (bs)
Robbie Buchanan (keyb'ds)
Al Lynch (trumpet, vcls)
Bruce Norris (trombone)
Ken Bronsch (sax)
Stan Williamson (drms)

Kentish Steele (vcls)
Paul Dean (gtr)
Brian Pulham (bs)
Brian Tingle (organ)
Gary Greensword (trumpet)
Warren Clarke (trumpet)
Stu Meadows (trombone)
Brian Tansley (sax)
Glen Gish (sax)
Jim Patterson (drms)

Lloyd Manuel (gtr)
Pete McKinnon (bs)
Dan Hunt (organ)
Norm Stacey (drms)

Keith Foreman (vcls)
Mike Wilson (gtr)
Carl Erickson (bs)
Ed Coppard (keyb'ds)
Dave Jonsson (drms, vcls)

Ron Henschel (gtr)
Wayne Evans (bs)
Chad Thorp (organ)
Roger Skinner (sax)
Carl Erickson (sax)
Bill McBeth (drms, lead vcls)

Band origins:
Vancouver (British Columbia/Canada)

Get it here (Artwork included)

Listen to The Stags - Out Of Our Tree

Listen to The Shockers - You Better Run

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trevor McNamara - Yeah Captain (1971)

Trevor McNamara's career started in the Adelaide group 5 Sided Circle. During that time he also wrote "H.M.S. Buffalo", picked up by psychedelic band Inside Looking Out for their last 45. He left after two years with and formed Musick Express. Their only single "Jackie's Thing/How Does Paternity Suit You" reached the Top 100 in 1970 but they quit soon afterwards. "Jackie's Thing" can also be heard on the excellent Incredible Sound Show Stories #13 compilation. He then recorded enough material for a solo album, which was finally released in 1971 on the little Nationwide label and was highly touted by those who have heard it. Musically speaking not much was heard about him since. As far as I understood he changed his instruments with brushes and found fulfillment in paintings but in 2010 he reformed his first band 5 Sided Circle for a few gigs. World in Sound re-issued his album in 2001 (World in Sound WIS 1009) with two bonus tracks from his lone single. The music is a mishmash of different styles, ranging from Psychedelic (Silver/Yeah Captain) to Folk/Singer/Songwriter (The Gun/P.I.P./Living On A Strain) or Prog influenced Pop/Rock (Now/Digging). It seems he didn't know in which direction he should go and it's no wonder that Trevor McNamara itself didn't like "Yeah Captain". To my ears it's not that bad and there are some pleasant cuts on the album but it's also not fully convincing and especially no lost gem.

- Silver
- Waking
- The Gun
- 15
- Jackie's Thing [From The Pop Opera 'Piano']
- Joseph Blackwell
- Riding To Athenbury
- Yeah Captain, Pt. 1
- Now
- P.I.P.
- Cavalier
- Digging
- I'm Very Sane Thank You
- Black Girl
- Sinners
- Living On A Strain
- Yeah Captain, Pt. 2
- Morocco [bonus]
- Country Corn [bonus]

Trevor McNamara
(bs, cello, drms, flute, gtr, keyb'ds, sax, vcls)

Adelaide (South Australia)

1. Yeah Captain (Nationwide NLP 029) 1971

1. Morocco/Country Corn (Nationwide NSP-041) 1971

Get it here (Artwork included)

Listen to Silver

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pilgrims - Telling Youth... The Truth (1962-67)

Rock; Christianity; guitars; church... in the 21st century these words don't seem odd together. But, in 1961 rock meant "devil music" and church meant "boring". The Pilgrims changed all that. Raise among the world-war bombsites of southeast London, the five "Pilgrims" were part of the first generation to be called "teenagers". The swinging sixties had started and it was not cool to be Christian. These full-blooded teenagers with a love for rock music became christians but opted not to conform. They put faith and rock together and changed christian music for good. The Pilgrims were the first wholly electric Christian rock group and shocked the churches of their day. Later bands broke through into mainstream recording, radio and TV, but The Pilgrims were breaking traditions and taboos. After playing at a church service attended by Princess Margaret the group were condemned on national radio by a Countess (no less!). But The Pilgrims didn't want upper class approval; they spoke to their own generation in a language they understood. The group played in churches, to be sure, but their favourite audiences were in beat clubs and dives where nobody was pretending to be holy. When you listen to The Pilgrims you can sense the rawness and enthusiasm of a newfound faith; nut the music is polished and professional. They put heart and soul into their playing and wanted to be the best. At a 1966 concert in a 2,500-seat auditorium opposite Westminster Abbey they were feted as "not only the best, but also the LOUDEST Christian group". [..]
taken from the liner notes

The Pilgrims have all my sympathy. Except for the lyrics you would'nt believe that they came from the Christian environment. The music leans towards early UK R&B/Beat but with a sound that is closer to american garage bands. Not every track on this CD (LRL 001 / 2004) is a winner but songs like "Hey You", "Thank You Lord" or "There's Something In Your Life" will satisfy every garage-head and lovers of raw and wild Beat. On this occasion I would like to recommend you the highly enjoyable UK Xian Beat compilation on the excellent Roots And Traces: Spurensicherung blogspot.

- Hey You!
- Thank You Lord
- Heaven's The Place For Me • Version 2
- There's Someone In Your Life
- I Didn't Care
- Think It Over • Version 2
- Wait And See
- Do You Believe In God?
- Heard It All Before
- Any Time Of The Day
- Who's Your Lord?
- I Know I'm Going To Heaven
- He Wants You
- I Don't Need You
- What Are You Doing With Your Life?
- Think Of God's Love
- I Praise The Lord
- Don't You Think It's Time
- Heaven's The Place For Me • Version 1
- I Found A Special Friend
- Think It Over • Version 1

Derrick Phillips (rhythm gtr, vcls) [ABC]
Don Sanders (lead gtr, bs) [ABCD]
Ian Wilkie (drms, vcls) [ABCD]
John Hubbard (bs, vcls) [AB]
Chris King (vcls) [A]
Tony Goodman (vcls, lead gtr, hrmnca) [BCD]

Band origin:

1. Heaven's The Place For Me/Think Of God's Love
   (Herald 2416) 1964

Get it here (Artwork included)

Listen to There's Someone In Your Life