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.

Hawkwind-Masters of The Universe

DSCN3643Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, Hawkwind, and the Rocking Vicars is dead.  He died of cancer.  He was 70 years old.

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Rolling Stone Article

Obit from the Guardian

When I lived in Denmark (2004), I was walking down the street to work when I walked past a tour bus loading up.  There was some one with black hair and tight pants bending over to get something.  When I started to check this person out, it popped up and as soon as I saw the mole,  I knew it was Lemmy.   Motorhead had played the night before. So I walked the rest of the walk in the cold Copenhagen air trying to get the image of Lemmy’s ass out of my head.dc34be86a797e0218676abdae83e284d

My friend Sam just asked me what Motorhead album I was going to post.  After I gave him a glaring look, he said he should have known better than to ask as he knew I was a Hawkwind fan.images6

Every obit mentions Motorhead but many of them do not mention Hawkwind.  Some mention a sentence.  Not only did Lemmy learn to play his style of bass in Hawkwind, he played in what is considered by all to be the classic Hawkwind lineup.  He played on their best four albums (Dorime Fasol Latido, Hall of the Mountain Grill, Warriors on the Edge of Time, and the live Space Ritual).  He also sang on their biggest single, “Silver Machine”.

 

This album was a quick compilation of some Hawkwind tracks from other albums. With “Masters of the Universe”, Brainstorm”, and “Sonic Attack”, it is a ok album for what it was trying to accomplish.DSCN3644

In tribute to Lemmy’s passing, here is a song he wrote and sung with Hawkwind, “Lost Johnny” from the heavy Hall of the Mountain Grill.

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The Lennon Sisters- Today

DSCN1888This was 80 cents. It had an excellent song selection on it.  3483902_orig

The Lennon Sisters got their start on the Lawrence Welk Show in 1955.  Hailing from Los Angeles and an obviously pious Roman Catholic family with 11 children, (6 girls and 5 boys), the original incarnation was Diane, Peggy, Janet, and Kathy.  Their first performance was well received and the sisters became mainstays on the show until 1968.  From there, they would release records, host TV shows, and tour across the Country.  Peggy would retire in 1999.  Diane, would do the same in 2000.  Janet and Kathy, along with younger sister Mimi still carry on the tradition and perform today. As a side note, I am struck how many Lawrence Welk fans have web pages.  It would seem that that fan base would be pretty computer illiterate. SHORPY_04179u

The Sister’s Web Page

A piece of tragedy in the story, 6 weeks before the premier of their TV show, Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters, their father, William was gunned down by a deranged stalker. The killer, Chet Young, was convinced that he was to marry Peggy and that the elder Lennon was standing in the way of this.  This obviously was devastating to the sisters.wpt_1320694538The Lawrence Welk Page on the Sisters.

This album was released  a year before the tragedy in 1968.  It has a very good selection of contemporary tunes including “It Must Be Him”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, “What the World Needs Now”  and Mike Nesmith’s “Different Drum”.  At times however, their take on these songs are awkward and very cornbread.  However, the Sister’s harmonies shine out on the tracks.

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For samples, I was tossed between a few songs but decided to stick with “California Dreamin” and “Green Tambourine”.  Both these songs showcase the Sister’s skills as well as the awkwardness of their interpretation of these flower power tunes.maxresdefault (2)

Satisfactory due to the amount of songs I like but this could easily slip into Meh territory.52e69a82a216e.preview-620

 

 

Roy Buchanan- Livestock

DSCN1166This was a dollar.

104153-original-RoyBuchananRoy Buchanan has been called the greatest Unknown Guitarist.  Born in Ozark, Arkansas in 1939, he would work as both a sideman and a solo artist, scoring two gold records and two Billboard charting albums.  A master of the telecaster, he pioneered his own guitar tone as well as his work with “chicken picking”, pinch harmonics and double stops.  He also used effects minimally as compared to his peers,  getting his sound from more basic means.  Although huge success eluded him, he is generally regarded well among other guitar players.  Tragically, he was found hung in a prison cell in Virginia in 1988.  He was 42.  After controlling his drinking habit for some time, he was arrested for public intoxication.  Although ruled a suicide, his family has expressed doubts.

Roy Buchannan Web Page

An Excellent Guitar Player Article

There are three interesting Zelig-esque stories about Buchanan that have him involved with some of the biggest names in rock royalty, depending on who you believe. First, during one of his early gig’s, playing with Ronnie Hawkins, Ronnie enlisted Buchanan to instruct a young guitarist and take him under his wing.  That guitarist would be Robbie Robertson, later of The Band.  Secondly,  according to Buchanan, the guitarist would challenge Jimi Hendrix to a “pick-off” competition which Hendrix would refuse.  This claim is somewhat dubious but not completely impossible.  Although the two had respect for each other, Buchanan was dismayed at the sight of Hendrix achieving the same sound with effects that Buchanan had painstakedly gained thru his hands.  Finally,  again according to Buchanan, the guitarist was asked to join the Rolling Stones at one point but refused.  Again,  there is not a whole lot of collaboration but it is not impossible either. In the end, Buchanan did not want gross fame and the pitfalls it brought, which is ironic considering the way he died.

This album is a live one form 1975 .  Recorded mostly in New York City, this album was done to finish out Buchanan’s contract with Polydor before moving to Atlantic.  The songs are okay and showcase Buchanan’s playing to a point.  However, it also greatly come off for what it is, an attempt to put out a record to oblige a contract.  That being said,  this album greatly influenced Jeff Beck’s work at the time from what I am told.DSCN1167

For a sample, I was stuck between a few songs.  I wanted to do “Roy’s Bluz” but I really do not like doing songs over 4 minutes on this web page.  I then was leaning towards “I’m a Ram” but in the end, decided to go with “Hot Cha”, an instrumental made famous by Junior Walker.  In this version, Buchanan trades licks with keyboardist Malcom Lukens.

Meh.  The album is good and all at times.  Again,  the guitar sound on “Roy’s Bluz” is mesmerizing.  However, I got what I could after a few listens.

The Cuban Group- Cuban Music in Jam Session

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This was a dollar.  Why not?  With restrictions lifting, there seems to be a lot of focus now on Cuban culture.

Lonely Planet Guide to Cuba

On that note, I am kicking myself for not taking advantage of a Canadian passport and visiting Cuba before the easing of the travel ban.  Not that I ever had a real strong urge before.  I prefer traveling latitudinal rather than longitudinal.  Also prefer cities rather to tropical climates.  Also,  I like going to Amsterdam.  But that being said, I kind of wish I ventured to the forbidden island before the flood gates open.

This album is a collection of songs done in very interesting arrangements.  As one would expect, there are a good amount of horns and percussion.  Whole lotta guiro. There is also a good amount of keyboards and guitars as well.  Some vocal call outs are present.  There are a lot of nifty songs on this album and there is some variety as well.  Although I am not an expert on Cuban music, it would seem these musicians are taking risky liberties with these songs.  In their case, these risks paid off.  DSCN1165

I was unable (or lazy-take your pick) to find out much about the musicians on the album, who I am assuming are The Cuban Group.  Did not feel much like translating either today.

For a sample, I felt “El Niche”  really ties in everything the album is trying to do well.  Good track with good instrumentation and vocals.  Also, I included “Ay Mama Ines”  because I like how the musicians mashed up Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto with this folk song.

Satisfactory Record.