Guadalajara Brass- Around The World

This was $1.  The track list was impressive.  The cover suggested a cheap Tijuana Brass knock off, which was popular during the latin explosion of the sixties.

Well, that more or less is what this is.  I could not find much info on the “band” itself but one source suggested that this might have been a legitimate band and not some consortment of studio musicians thrown together by Coronet/Premier Records.

In doing research, I came across a posting of this record from a fellow music blogger, Unearthed In The Atomic Attic.  His review is less than positive some of their previous work stating it was “so bad and not bad good”.   I am going to be honest, this is not a great album.  But in that line of honesty, you kind of had to know what this was going to sound like before purchase and that is exactly what I said above, a cheap Tijuana Brass knock off.

Link to Unearthed in The Atomic Age

That being said, I am sure this came out sometime in the late 60’s.  Other than that, I do not know much else about the subject.  A lot of common instrumentals at the time, including “Moon River”, “Midnight in Moscow”, and what was one of the MORE popular tunes of the era (and keeping the alliteration up), “Mondo Cane” or “More”, which is what I used as a sample. For the record, this song has less of the brass on it and is more string driven.

Eh, meh.  I know.  I kind of knew what this would sound like and it was dirt cheap but I was hoping for more and not just the song.

 

Caterina Valente with Edmundo Ros – Silk ‘N Latin

When I was going thru my records, I was really surprised I had this album because I had no recollection of buying it.  I mean this happens time to time with lessor albums, but for two big names that I have posted on this blog (and whose records I have enjoyed), I found it strange that I would not remember buying this.  But the fact is, I do not.  It seems I would be really stoked to see this album. Somehow I got this for what was $6.  I bought this this year as well which makes my lack of recollection even sadder.

But here we are with this, a joint effort from two international superstars who are (or at least were) pretty famous on the other side of the ocean. Apparently, the two had done some significant work together, prior to this. From London Records in 1969 ( a lot of records this month are from 1969 or 1970- strange), this record features these two in a collection of latin tunes which in reality, sounds more Brazilian like Sergio Mendes or so.  A lot of samba tunes.  Real good album.  I was a bit underwhelmed by the first side, but the second side really hit it out of the park.  

For a sample, I went with the duo’s take on the Beatles “Fool On The Hill” as well as “O Meu Violau”.

Would have been a good album if this was just by one of them.  Together, it is great.  Satisfactory,

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks- Orginal Recordings

Yet another week.  Saints be praised.  Here we are with this little gem by Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, who I blogged about a couple months back.  I bought this shortly after his death for what I believe was $1 from Sig’s Lagoon, which I no longer go to because I tend to leave there with 30+ records per trip.  No slight against Sig’s and on the contrary, I highly recommend it for a record shop.  Overall, I did well this year in really limiting my purchases but I still have a ways to go before I can really splurge again.  And as previously noted, shopping for records was my favorite part of this blog.

But here we are with the first record from Mr Hicks and his Licks of Hot.  Released in 1969, it features the first line up of the band with Sid Page, Sherry Snow, Christine Gancher, Jamie Leopold, and Jon Weber.  This line up would break up in 1971.

I did not know this but Hicks got his start playing drums in the psychedelic rock band, The Charlatans.  This is most likely the reason why we have the Charlatans UK.  Anyway, towards the end of his tenure, Hicks moved to front the band.

But back to this record, here is the folk, country, swing, jazz combination that made Hicks and his Hot Licks famous.  Pretty good album and it includes one of his more famous songs, “I Scare Myself”.  Overall, real good effort.

For a sample,  I wanted to use the song above but after hearing “Jukie’s Ball” I was drawn to it for no other reason than they name check a Jimmy in the intro, even if it is a wooden dummy.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Amageddon- ST

Happy Saturday.  This record was $5.  I bought it, despite already having a copy which I bought for $10, because I really wanted to post it and at the time, I was really sticking to my journalistic guns of keeping records at $5 or less.  Such idealism.  Anyway, it was my pal Hugh who first turned me on to this record.  He played the first track and made me guess who the lead singer was.  This is also one of the records I found laying around my apartment on Christmas last year when I had company over the night before and I woke up to a place in massive disarray.

Keith Relf, born in Richmond, Surrey, UK in 1943, had one of the more interesting careers in music, if not one of the more underappreciated.  As the lead singer of the Yardbirds, his efforts were overshadowed by his more famous band mates, namely, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.  After the group’s demise, Relf first took up with his sister and Yardbird Jim McCarty in the acoustic group Renaissance (a version of which has been posted on this blog).  However, after producing other artists, he formed this super group of sorts in 1974 with Martin Pugh and Louis Cennamo of Steamhammer as well as Bobby Caldwell of Captain Beyond.

Armegeddon released on album (this one) and played two shows before disbanding.  Relf, who was working on reforming his version of Renaissance, would die of accidental electrocution in 1976.  He was 33 years old at the time.  This record would be his last recording.

But here we are with this, which is a hard driving rock and roll album that is really comparable to anything his ex-Yardbird band mates were doing at the time.  The album was a critical success, but since there was no tour behind it, it really did not sell.  So, it has been relegated to a special place in the annals  of the history of 70’s rock.

For a sample, I went with one of the shorter songs, “Paths and Planes and Future Gains”.  It should be noted that the opening song posted above, “Buzzard” is my favorite song on the album.

Great album.  Top Rated.

Melanie- Candles In The Rain

This gem of a record was only $1.  One freaking dollar.  Are you crazy people?  Anyway, looking at the cover and listening to this, I had a hard time believing this came out in 1970 (and was in great part, a product of the 60’s).  It looks and sounds like a much more modern record.

But this did come out in 1970 and was Melanie’s third album.  With the lead single “Lay It On Down (Candles In The Rain)” based on her experience performing at Woodstock (in which a bunch of spectators light up candles while see played).  I probably mentioned this on the last post I wrote on her, but you really do not hear much about Melanie’s performance at Woodstock which is probably a shame.  Anyway, this record and that single in particular, brought the artist her first Top Ten hit in the US.  “Ruby Tuesday” as well as “What Have They Done To My Song, Ma” were also hits.  The album sold well in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Overall, I think this is an excellent album and really showcases Melanie’s talent. With the exception of “Ruby Tuesday”, the rest of the songs are written by the artist.  She is also backed up vocally in places by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

For a sample, I decided to go with “Left Over Wine” which was one of the songs I picked from the live album I posted last year or so but did not use. I think because it skipped.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Sandy Nelson- Manhattan Spiritual

This record was all of $1.  It had a bunch of songs I liked on it.  The cover says late 60’s but sound was a bit more 70’s (in actuality, this record came out in 1969).

Sandy Nelson is a drummer from Santa Monica, CA.  Born in 1938, Nelson’s fame grew due to his impressive record of session work in the early days of rock and roll. Nelson cut his teeth recording on such early classics as “To Know Him Is To Love Him” and “Alley Oop”.  In the late 50’s/early 60’s, he would have hits of his own including “Teen Beat” and “Let There Be Drums”.  A motorcycle accident in 1963 cost Nelson his right foot and part of his leg.  However, Nelson continued to release records regularly up into the mid 70’s (including this one).  Today he is sporadically still involved in music I believe.

This record, again released in 1969, is a collection of instrumental standards accented by Nelson’s drum work.  It is ok.  Nelson is a more than competent drummer and his drums do not overpower the songs on the record. Some of the arrangements are not as I would do them, but what can you do?  A lot of songs that I like were on this including one I post all the time, “Caravan”.  On one hand , I did not like this arrangement at all.  On the other hand, though, I respect that Nelson was trying to do something different with this.

For a sample, I went with the song that led me to buy this album, “Big Nose From Winnetka”.  Also, here is the version of “Caravan” which I still have mixed feelings about.

Eh.  I could go either way with this album, but since I paid a dollar for it and I am in a relatively good mood, I will say satisfactory.

Arthur Lyman- Hawaiian Sunset

This record was $1. Lyman’s reputation in the field of exotica makes it hard to pass up his records.  Since I have posted several of his records in the past, there is not much more to say on the subject.  I chose this by design since it made for an easy post to write.

I believe this effort was Lyman’s third album under his own moniker.  Released in 1958, the songs all have a Hawaiian connotation as the title would suggest.  Good stuff.  I mean, it is consistent with Lyman’s other works.

For a sample, I went with what is one of my favorite songs, “Hawaiian War Chant”.  Written by Prince Leleiohoko in the 1860’s, the song has become sort of a jazz standard being covered by jazz bands of the 30’s and 40’s as well as its inclusion in the Tex Avery 1952 cartoon, “Magical Maestro” .  Oddly enough, the original song is not a war chant but a clandestine meeting between two lovers.

Satisfactory Record.

Monte Mills- Sings Old Favorites

Seem to be overdoing it slightly on the country early this month, but what the hey.  This looked like the small local/novelty/independent type record that this blog thrives on.  Plus it had a bunch of songs that I like, most notably “Mama Tried”.  It was only one dollar.

Much to my surprise, Monte Mills has a web page and still plays around 30 to 50 shows or so a year with the Lucky Horseshoe Band, including opening for the late Merle Haggard.  So many times, records like this are a one and done-er. Based in Central Coastal California,Mills has played for a wide variety of functions and people, including entertainers and politicians. He also has released a handful or records outside of this one.

Mills Web Page

Mills, at the time of this record (which I believe was his first) was a humble horse shoe-er by trade who sang both on the trail and in the shower. As the record as well as the web page states, singing is still a side gig to horse shoeing.  However, on one fateful day, while out on the trail for the Ranch Vistadores annual 7 day ride, held at Lake Cachuma between Santa Barbara ad Santa Ynez, Mills befriended a studio musician, one  Dusty Rhoads, encouraged Mills to come out to Hollywood and make a record.  Well, Mills took his advice and made this effort, featuring, Rhoads on bass, Harold Hensley on fiddle, Roy Lanham on guitar, the great Bud Isaacs on slide, and Art Anton on drums. Anyway, the same story is on the back of the record with more colloquialisms and venacular.

For a sample, I decided to go with “The Auctioneer”.

Satisfactory record,  I really liked this.  Good songs and great selection of tunes with numbers from Haggard, Hank Williams, and Bob Wills among others. Plus, I was really happy to see that Mills stuck with it rather than letting his talent fall to the wayside after one effort.

VA- Slop N’ Mash Vol 1.

This was $8.00.  I got it as there is just not enough Jamaican music on this page.

A few years back, well decades really, sometime in the mid 90’s, I got this four -CD set of Jamaican music, from Mango Records, titled Tougher than Tough.  Starting with the Folkes Brothers “Oh Carolina” from 1961 and ending with the same song by Shaggy, (which at the time represented the present day of Jamaican music), the compilation details the history of the genre from early ska from the 60;s, to the heavy reggae of the 70’s, to the dancehall of the 80’s/90’s.  Really good collection.  I got a whole lot of mileage out of the set.

So when I saw this record, I went ahead ant snapped it up, despite the high price. This collection predates the cd set described above a bit by presenting some seminal works from 1958 to 1962.  The genres hit on the ska and easybeat sounds which birthed the nation’s music.  A lot of decent artists on here including Owen Gray, Duke Reid, Lord Lebby, Derrick Morgan, Lauren Aitken, and Byron Lee.

For a sample, I was struck by three tunes in particular.  “Crazy Dog” by Beans, Dumplings” by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, and “Palms of Victory” by Azie Lawrence.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Merle Haggard- Close Up

It is Saturday and here is that purveyor of the Bakersfield sound, Merle Haggard.  This double record set cost me either $1 or $3.  I am guessing $3 due to the fact that it is a double record. Probably got it at a Record Show at the Hilton. I guess this is a good time as any to complain about what became an occurrence this month.  That is a had albums picked out which I was kind of jazzed about only to find that the records inside were different.  One was an early Aretha Franklin record.  The other was the movie soundtrack of “The Pajama Game” featuring Doris Day, John Raitt, and Eddie Foy jr ( I know, I said I was sick of Broadway but…).  Anyway, I was quite bummed out at both instances.  I think in January, I will dedicate a week to these kind of albums.

This was a greatest hits compilation from 1969 by Capitol Records, released around the same time of some of Haggard’s biggest hits (not included in this collection) such as “Mama Tried” “Hungry Eyes”, and “Okie From Muskogee”.  Most of these songs are written by Haggard but there are other songwriters here such as Liz Anderson, Tommy Collins, Wynn Stewart, and Ernest Tubb.  Overall, it is a good collection of early Haggard showing off both his singing as well as song writing.

For a sample, I went with my old favorite, the Haggard penned “Swinging Doors” although I like Ray Price’s version better which I believe I posted on this blog.

Satisfactory