Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week In Review: Gene Wilder, Detective, End Of Month Thoughts

It's the end of August of already?  This month has been going by quite fast.  The projected ratings for this month was going to be 3500 but a bit of inflated viewers will make it just shy of 4,000.  To the readers that actually read anything.  I thank you.

A moment of silence for the passing of Gene Wilder, famed actor of the better version of Willie Wonka as well as Young Frankenstein,  He now reunites with Gilda Radner and Richard Pryor in the great beyond.  Alzheimer's claimed him.  He was 83.  (for the most part Gene was married to Karen Boyer for the past 25 years and was with him on the day of his passing).

Darrell Ward, Ice Road Trucker for the past few season died in a plane crash in Montana. He was 52 years old. http://www.kbzk.com/story/32862434/ice-road-trucker-star-identified-as-victim-of-montana-plane-crash?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_KBZK_TV

Monty Lee Wilkes, soundman for the likes of Nirvana and The Replacements died from cancer.  He was 54. http://www.startribune.com/monty-lee-wilkes-sound-engineer-for-replacements-nirvana-and-first-ave-dies-at-54/391556811/

With Labor Day weekend coming up, this will be the big weekend of big outdoor music happenings, Wolfcreek or Blitzcreek will be taking place up in Center Point and most hard rocking bands will be playing Saturday and Sunday.  F B and Company has their own blues jam on Sunday and Terry McDowell will be playing in Flex, so the guys from KICK IT will be hosting the popcorn jam.  I'll be sitting this one out.  However last Sunday's jam brought out some of the best jammers, you can take a read of the happenings via this site. http://townedgers.blogspot.com/2016/08/popcorn-jam-8-28-16-wide-variety-of.html

MTV hosted their yearly Video Music Awards or in this case bad autotuned chipmunks with dancers doing stripper moves on stage.  Didn't know any of the artists or winners and basically the MTV hosts and women were as phony baloney as Spam.  I did catch Britney Spears toward the end.  She has a new album out and reviews are good.  But don't take my word, her new album is not on my list of things to review.   The photo comes courtesy of Madison Square Garden.

I was talking with Carol, who used to work at Relics in Cedar Rapids up till their demise in 1996 and she had a newspaper photo of the building being torn down in favor of the parking lot for Best Buy, which is also not doing very well of late.  Best Buy is not liked from Carol, in fact she refuses to even set foot in any Best Buy store.  I really have bittersweet memories of the last days of Relics. I spent a lot of time hanging out there in the 1990s, but Jerry never did mention he was closing the store, and the week after buying Freedy Johnston's Never Home and a couple others, I came into an empty building where old posters laid on the floor.  That strip mall was home, even to the crappy food that was Zio Johnno's.  Relics would return with the help of Steve Bray and later Marcus Draves  but the store finally closed for good in 2003.    This photo is from Carol Becker's archives.

For the most part, we still have Half Priced Books in town, Siegel's Pawn but their CD selection is getting less and less.  And there's still Moondog Music and CD's 4 Change in Dubuque and Ragged Records and Co Op Records in the Quad Cities, and thrift stores to boot. I'm still amazed of what I can find for music, as long as I live, there's always be some sort of music out there for me to find and listen to. Been that way for 5 decades and why change now?  I'd be bullshitting if I said I was giving it all up.  But I still may do a garage sale to rid of so much music that I know I won't be listening to but a few times.  Question remains which ones do I get rid of? 

Labor Day week, I will finally take a couple weeks off from work and try to do a bit of housekeeping and getting rid of some unwanted things.  I plan to take it EZ and step away from the hectic life of blogging and try to learn to get some me time and be happy for a change.  The job situation and seeing a few more long time co workers get shown the door has weighed heavily on me but that seems to be the way of life any place you work, they downsize, the CEO votes himself a big raise and who's left have to to do the work of the coworkers now gone.  I'm sure another bargain hunt will be forthcoming, where I don't know at, but what I do know is that I'm burned out and just want to relax for a while.  Last time I was relaxed was coming from Arizona in 2013 for about 45 seconds and coming home and seeing another rainstorm that flooded the basement. I almost told my brother to take me back to the airport and get back on that plane to Mesa.

While KRNA continues to play the top 500 classic rock songs in a row, I have to say they are making some more adjustments to play the more obscure and they do check their website for comments from scrutinizing crabbs about their playlist, one in particular of the fourth Tesla album Psychotic Supper.  Told them they should play that album, they got back to say they're looking for it in their archives.  If not, I can always mail them a copy that I found for a dollar at a thrift store.  

On the baseball side of things, The Chicago wrapped up their best August season with a 21-6 mark, 38 games over .500 and streaking away from the St Louis Cardinals, 15 games behind with perhaps the only thing left for them is to battle Pittsburgh for the wild card.  It's the Cubs best record this late in the year since the 1945 season, their last World Series showing, the 15 game lead their last since 1907, the year that the Cubs won it all.  And they are 40 games over .500, never thought I would see that in my lifetime.  Sweeping Pittsburgh to complete the hotter than August competition, they won 6-5 despite a shaky bullpen, which might come into play.  For the overall homefield advantage, Washington is fighting them neck and neck, they too are hot as well.  But for the hitting of Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant one can only wonder had Kyle Schwarber stayed healthy if the record would be much better.  The lineup has been coming through, Jason Hayward has been getting more hits of late and Kyle Hendricks has been the ace of the starter five.  However Joe Maddon has been using a lot of bullpen help, I'm guessing that at least 15 or 20 have been part of that.  On the minor league side of things, The Cedar Rapids will play on in September, they clinched a playoff spot sweeping both the hapless Quad Cities River Bandits, who will be sitting the playoffs out and division leader Clinton which already won the first half division and probably overall division for the season.  Which means we'll be seeing the Kernels play in mid September for five straight years.  And football season starts as well, Iowa plays Miami Ohio on good ole ESPNU, one of the channels we don't get on our crappy cable company and continues to provide less analog channels. Analog will be the thing of the past out here.  Which means I'll just use the TV for DVDs watching then.

To start my weekend off, I got to catch the last set from 50 Shades Of Rock and my favorite girl drummer Tiffany Z bringing the beats to this band.  As they say tip your local server, but mine was such a bitch, she would have gotten a kick to in the ass rather than a tip. If you're having a bad day, don't take it out on the old Crabb that just gotten done with working at the coal mines.  50 Shades Of Rock played the favorites, with a left turn with Dead Or Alive You Spin Me Round (Stop it) and Friends In Low Places but they do bring new meaning to Smoke On The Water, or Free Bird.  A rocking drummer will always help a band go further.   I love Tiffany for the fact that she's always interested in the next project I'm taking on.  Remind me to deliver the latest Townedgers CD in her hands next time I see her.

This just in, on Friday (9-2-16)  The Marion Indians ended their two year losing streak by blowing out Benton Community 45-22.  About time guys. 

Forgotten Bands Of The 70s-Detective

Out of all the bands that recorded for Swan Song, Led Zeppelin's label, Detective  was the lesser known of all bands on that label, behind the likes of  Zep, Bad Company, Dave Edmunds, Pretty Things, Sad Cafe and Maggie Bell/Midnight Flyer.  Kinda of a minor league mini supergroup, the best known guy was Mike Des Barres, who's wife Pamela, the best known groupie to the stars.  Mike Monarch was part of Steppenwolf during the At Your Birthday Party era, Bobby Pickett a decent funky bass player, Tony Kaye was part of Yes and then Badger before signing up for this band and Mike Hyde a drummer that played a John Bonham power beat.  The problem was that Detective couldn't write that major song to drive Hyde's drumming.

They made two albums, the first is the better of the two but it shows too much reliance on Led Zeppelin and even getting Andy Johns to produce the majority of the songs.  The album also threw in a few numbers from a ill fated recording session with one Jimmy Robinson, no relation to Jimmy Page and you have to find the Rock Candy reissue of their first album for a better explanation, in the case a out of whack producer trying to change the band's sound but the guys were buying it. If nothing else, Robinson did manage to get a bigger drum sound on songs like Grim Reaper or Got Enough Love.  The Johns produced sides of Recognition and Detective Man reveals that this band sounded more like a boogie band (Humble Pie, since Des Barres did a better Steve Marriott than Robert Plant or Paul Rodgers).  But the clash of music styles, including a funkified  Wild Hot Summer Nights is more disco Rolling Stones, which meant somebody must have been listening to Black And Blue (I would have said Miss You but that wasn't out there yet, perhaps Mick Jagger was listening to this album and got the inspiration?).  It's a mess of a debut, somewhat like Savage Eye from Pretty Things but that band had much better songs.

When It Takes One To Know One came out, Detective decided to move in a more Rolling Stones sound and a more boogie sound like Help Me Up and the Can't you hear me knocking knock off Competition. Even the Faces's sound come into play (Dynamite, Warm Love) and of course Humble Pie via Led Zep (Tear Jearker).  With Swan Song not paying much attention to this band, and Atlantic even less, the band broke up.  Tony Kaye would bounce around to the next band Badfinger before rejoining Yes in their comeback 90125 album.  Des Barres joined with Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) and Clem Burke (Blondie) for the ill fated Chequered Past, that made one forgettable hair metal album for EMI. Des Barres can be heard on Little Steven's Underground Garage nowadays and still records as a solo artist from time to time.

Wounded Bird did issue both albums for a while and Derick Oliver's Rock Candy reissued the S/T  album in 2010 and it still remains in print.  Given the two, The S/T album wins out over the more uneven Takes One To Know One.  I wouldn't consider either one classic essential rock and roll but given on its own terms, the boogie rock and roll didn't sound out of the place with the other boogie bands out there and at that time Humble Pie closed up shop for a while.  In the end, Detective may not been the new Led Zeppelin or even Humble Pie but as workmanlike bar band rock, they did okay.

Detective (Swan Song 1977 Rock Candy Reissue 2010) B
It Takes One To Know One (Swan Song 1978) B-
Live From The Atlantic Studio (Gonzo Import 2013) C

Album from my youth: Lynyrd Skynyrd-Street Survivors (MCA 1977)

For their last album, they went out in style with the hit single What's Your Name and bar bands favorite songs That Smell, I Know A Little and You Got That Right, and even the filler tracks of Honky Tonk Night Time Man and I Never Dreamed really do sound pretty good in this context.  But when I hear the expanded edition I can see why they managed to dust off an oldie from the past One More Time to replace Sweet Little Missy, which would have dragged the record down.  In fact, the original eight songs leading to Steve Gaines' singing on Ain't No Good Life still remains perhaps Skynyrd's best overall although Free Bird and Sweet Home Alabama purists would disagree.  Still Steve Gaines did provide a much needed kick in the ass for good ole southern rock and roll, not that Nuthin Fancy or Gimme Back My Bullets were duds, I tend to like those better than the two previous ones since classic rock radio hardly plays them outside of Saturday Night Special. But I Know A Little and You Got That Right has some nice guitar interplay between Gaines, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington.

For the bonus tracks, there's a reason why they were left off,  the songs are not very good, as if Ronnie Van Zant is trying to find some lyrical inspiration on Georgia Peaches, and Sweet Little Missy just doesn't work.   There are two different versions of You Got That Right and I Never Dreamed which isn't bad, but something you can live without.  I guess the key track Jacksonville Kid, while so so, it's for the better that Van Zant decided to chuck the original lyrics of Kid in favor of Honky Tonk Night Time Man, written by Merle Haggard.  The bonus tracks simply are not needed, but it's not for me to downgrade the album.  It's still remains a solid A album up to Ain't No Good Life.  You're basically free to listen to something else.  But one can only wonder what would have happened had Skynyrd not gotten on a junky airplane in a ill fated 1977 flight, just like what would have happened had Stevie Ray Vaughan decided not to board an helicopter in 1990.  The observation would have been more decent Southern Rock, with Ronnie's dry sense of humor and Southern Hospitality. But Skynyrd would return 10 years later with Johnnie Van Zant taking over and the results not as rewarding, unless you want to hear Johnnie's take on Free Bird and the first two albums.  You won't find me in a old folks home, declared Ronnie on You Got That Right and that would come true, but what he and Steve Gaines left behind was a damn near perfect Southern Rock album that nobody would ever come close to duplicating, except maybe Molly Hatchet's first album, or even Blackfoot's Strikes which was in the neighborhood.  But alas, once Ronnie and Steve and Cassie Gaines left this world, southern rock was never quite the same.   Street Survivors would be the end of an era to classic southern rock.
Grade A

Record Reviews:

Leapy Lee-Little Arrows  (Decca 1969)

An album that you see regularly in the dollar bins.  Fun fact: Gordon Mills who managed Tom Jones Engelbert Humperdink also managed this obscure British star who had a top ten hit with Little Arrows and then disappeared from it all.  Another fun fact: Little Arrows was written by the duo of Mike Hazelwood and Albert Hammond.  While Lee did things in a pop vein he had better success as a country singer, can't figure that one out.    All music guide mentioned had Decca decided to go with If I Get To Saginaw Again, that might have gotten some success or the other Hammond/Hazelwood comp Theresa although Mike Vickers (formerly of Manfred Mann) puts a very dated 60s arrangement to that song.  The reason why the record has a country and western leaning is the poplar songs of that on this album (Little Green Apples, a straight run through of Harper Valley PTA in the way that Tom T Hall wrote it and I'll Be Your Baby Tonight) and they're passable but harmless.  I tend to think AMG overrated it.  It's not a four and half star album but rather a three star effort.  And it's a shame that Decca got bored with Leapy Lee after Little Arrows (the single) ran its course.   The followup Here Comes The Rain got ignored.  A interesting artifact that is worth 25 cents to rediscover  and donate later.
Grade B

Dave Dudley-Sings  (Golden Ring 1962)

I think the Record World site has reviewed twice more Dave Dudley albums than any other site.  This is his first album and breakthrough song with Six Days On The Road, including that chunky plunking guitar and perhaps the strangest backing vocal group, a strange cavernous sort of echo. I always thought they were saying Hooray after Dudley finishes up a line in his verses.  And I always got a kick out of that line I'm taking little white pills and my eyes are open wide, as if he's doing a wink and  an grin.  Six Days On The Road remains one of the greatest truck driving honky tonk songs in country history.  And even with this vintage recording, it still sounds good coming from vinyl, in fact even though I bought this at St Vincent De Paul in a dusty ole record bin, the record is in great shape after 50 years it plays great.  The other song of note is Last Days In The Mines, which is perhaps one of the best tragic stories that was written by Jimmy Key, to which Dudley would record for a bigger hit for Mercury a couple years later.  Dudley could write songs himself, he writes five including Six Days soundalike Taxi Cab Driver, complete with that trademark chucky plunking guitar and those Hooray background vocalists.  And famed concert country promoter Smokey Smith writes up one on side two called  Yesterday's Lover.  A good debut despite the big misstep song at the end, the five minute Barbara Allen which drags.  Nevertheless, Dave Dudley Sings would be the start of a nice long country career.
Grade B+

And now a trilogy of albums from Pravda in tribute to K Tel Records..For better or worse.

Various Artists: 20 Explosive Dynamic Super Smash Hit Explosions (Pravda  1991)

The alternative rock tribute to K Tel and those cheesy 70s AM classics that still get played.  The key track is here the Smashing Pumpkins destroying Jackie Blue, which the Ozark Mountain Daredevils had a number 2 hit in 1975.  It might be noted that Billy Corgan and company would hit it big with Siamese Dream, but their attempt to try to ape the Nirvana sound annoys the hell out of me but it's not the worst track here.  That distinction goes to Cheer Accident and their clueless cover of Shaft, which is part industrial bad Ministry crap and I dare you to sit through the whole five and half minutes including the ending with what it seems like four hours, (end the fucking song already dumbasses!).  M.O.T.O and God's Acre also have the problem of overstaying their welcome, the latter, after a somewhat straight run through of King Harvest Dancing In The Moonlight, they have to come back with a punk rock ending and then come back for an third encore of feedback (Go away already).  Then God's Acre fucks up Mississippi Queen with a bunch of unintelligible metal guitar clusterfuckus and wear out their welcome on the final chorus (there's a reason why the song is 2 minutes 30 seconds, learn the GD song before you throw it under the bus).   13 Nightmares makes Everything I Own seem like nightmare number 4, and even in any version Convoy still sucks although The New Duncan Imperials at least give it a better effort than the Pumpkins, M.O.T.O and God's Acre did on their songs.  It's a shame that Pravda didn't get Gary Hoey's version of Hocus Pocus, and perhaps The Fresh Young Fellows may have played it too safe on Black Betty.  By far, the best songs come from the power poppers, The Sneeches with Shoes doing a friendly I Wanna Be With You, Material Issue tackles Little Willy and The Sinatras' cover of Shannon actually is better than Henry Gross' original.   Despite the efforts of The Slugs charga charga ooga ooga's on Hooked On A Feeling, The Reviers Brandy and so forth, Pravda's first attempt to salute K Tel falls on its ass.  Unless you absolutely want to hear the Smashing Pumpkins fuck up Jackie Blue without the humor to pull this off, you can live without it.
Grade C

Various Artists: 20 More Explosive Fantastic Rockin Mega Smash Hit Explosions (Pravda 1992)

A much better effort with a better selection of bands (Smithereens, Dash Rip Rock, King Missle, Fastbacks, Uncle Tupelo etc.) and this time out the crapfest is kept down (Dayglo Abortions' awful I Write The Songs) and the grunge stars elsewhere on their own power trips.  At least you know when the Smithereens do a cover like It Don't Come Easy, it's straight forward the way it supposed to be. Uncle Tupelo's cover of Merle Haggard's Movin On features Brian Henneman (later of The Bottle Rockets) taking the lead vocal and Iowa favorites Head Candy does a cool version of Maggie May. If you want corn, there's John Wesley Harding and Kelly Hogan, the 90s version of Donnie and Marie on A Little Bit Country (See Convoy for worthless songs from the 70s) and the hidden track of Brother Louie by unknowns known as Siegler.  Even Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves work, but I'm not so sure of Goober And The Peas' attempt at MacArthur Park.  But at least Billy Corgan didn't get his grungy little hands on it.
B plus

Various Artists-Star Power (Pravda 1995)

As far as I know this was the last of the albums that Pravda paid tribute to cheesy 70s AM classics and still nobody bothered to cover Mammy Blue or Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.  Only true dud would be Brown Betty's Don't Give Up On Us, which couldn't do David Soul any justice, no matter how many out of tune screaming guitars they could add on.  Or maybe Big Fish Ensemble doing I'm Am Woman but with a man singer instead.  The Dick Nixon's infamous One Tin Soldier is also here but since they were a novelty band in the first place at least they threw in some Richard Nixon themes to make me chuckle for a second or two.   Highlights include A-Bones turning Rock The Boat into a Bo Diddley love fest and The Silos take on Mama Told Me Not To come is more Randy Newman than 3 Dog Night.  And of course the late Vic Chestnutt turning The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia into a more dark sinister sound than Vicky Lawrence could ever do.   Local favorites Rex Daisy plays Welcome Back fairly straight and surprising Fig Dish Kung Fu Fighting works better than Love Battery's deconstruction of White Bird.  I think this record pales next to 20 More  Hits but still is a better listen than the original 20 Explosive Hits.  It's hard to tell if Pravda Records decided that seeing Rhino putting out the Have A Nice Day Series which has most if not all of the songs available by the original artists and decided to do either a tribute or parody of the AM classics gold was a worthwhile investment.  It may have gotten some airplay on the college radio station circuit of the 1990s before Corporations bought everything and radio became stale, but for the most part any remaining copies are probably in dollar bins in thrift stores or collecting dust in collections like mine and chances are I probably won't give them much airplay or love for that matter.  And in the end results, these CDs will probably join the K Tel albums at your local Goodwill or St. Vincent De Paul.  Unless I want to get rid of unwanted guests, then I just put on Jackie Blue by Smashing Pumpkins.  If anybody is still around, Cheer Accident's Shaft.
Grade B

Various Artists: Sounds Of The Seventies-Am Top Twenty (Star Vista/Time Life 1993)

Of course there's Have A Nice Day Volumes 1 through 25 but Time Life did compile some of the best/worst case of AM Radio.  To which Blue Swede's infamous Hooked On A Feeling starts the party going with Paper Chase, Mouth And McNeal, King Harvest, Terry Jacks, Coven and Henry Gross has their original versions of songs you compare notes with. Certainly the fast forward button will come in handy, especially on Run Joey Run and Afternoon Delight, two songs that nobody wanted to cover anyway.  The surprise song is not Jungle Fever by the Chakachas but rather I'm Doing Fine Now, the big one hit from New York City and one of the last great R and B hits of the 70s before disco arrived.  Or the breezy Hitchin A Ride from Vanity Fare, a guilty pleasure upon itself.  Or Beach Baby by First Class.  In other words, this 22 song sampler really shows the good and the bad of hooky pop rock music.  You might hate Chevy Van by Sammy Johns or Beautiful Sunday by Daniel Boone but you have to admit they're catchy enough to play on the local jukebox.  My Baby Loves Lovin, and Billy Don't Be A Hero, like Afternoon Delight and Run Joey Run you can live without (so keep that FF button handy).  But this a cheap and perfect album of AM radio in the mid 70s.  (for better or worse and for that matter a better tribute to what K Tel was doing at the time).
Grade B

And then...there's this.

George Hamilton-By George! (ABC Paramount 1965)

Sometimes there are albums that are so bad, that you have to hear them just once to hear how bad they sound.   Of course, no relation to George Hamilton IV who did record for ABC Paramount during his teen idol years, this George Hamilton is the famed actor, who did the voice of Hank Williams during the 1963 Your Cheatin Heart movie.  I'm not sure if he was really in demand after his Hullabaloo show stopping performance and ABC Paramount even with Ray Charles on roster couldn't break anybody else outside of The Impressions and Frank Fontaine (whoever he was) decided to cast their lot with George and hooked him up with Peter Angelus (of Frankie Avalon, Fabian fame) and managed to corner some of The Wrecking Crew to play on this album.  At best, George is in the Bobby Rydell and Pat Boone side of teen idols, good intentions but hardly worth hearing.  At best, Hamilton does pull off She Wasn't Like That (When She Used To Be Mine) in the style of Del Shannon and Loneliness, the failed hit single would give ole Pat Boone a run for the money.  But George is no match for You Lost That Lovin Feeling, which he really goes over the top and falls flat on his face and even worse And I Love Her, a Beatles song that should have been off limits from the get go. No matter how many times Angelus tries to overdub Hamilton's limited vocals, they never improve.  But if ever you should come across this artifact, find the inner sleeve of the ABC Paramount artists that did record and except for the roster on Impulse label, outside of Brother Ray and The Impressions, George was competing with the likes of Frank Fontaine, the haunting guitar of Roy Smeck and the French rock and rollers Les Djinns Singers.  And finding he was better off staying with his day job as actor extraordinaire.
Grade C-

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week In Review: King Buffalo, Davenport, QDogs Bluesfest.

Two years after the great Record Find, I decided that somehow the time would be right to see if anything decent coming in for 45s at my favorite Salvation Army hangout.  Again, the usual scratched up 45 suspects that have seen better years about 5 decades ago but I did pick up a nice 45s storage case that still had most of the number stickers that people used to deface their records with.  I do think the past couple of times I have been there, I have bought some of their donated records.  Perhaps if I get some ambition I'll try to match up the records with the number dividers that came with the record case.  I could have bought the other case there but I figured somebody would need one too.  It would have been EZ to get the other one but then again I would have to take the Don Corneal and Hilltoppers 45s inside as well.

It was road construction hell once again, and I couldn't get across any of the bridges to Moline.  The one that went to the arsenal, there was an accident and traffic was backed up, the I-74 bridge is in a five year replacement plan and even on a good day, getting across it is a pain in the ass and more road construction made that impossible to cross.  For the first time ever, I didn't buy anything from Ragged Records, not that they had anything good, but I just didn't find anything that was worth a listen.  I did find three LPs very cheap at Goodwill, picked up two cds for 67 cents at Stuff Etc and that was good enough for me this trip around.  Down by the river, they had the Quad Cities POPS, which parking space was filled to the brim and I basically parked down by Ragged Records and walked a mile to the ballpark to which the Quad Cities River Bandits lost 4-2 to Kane County.  That will end my trip to the Woodman Park for this year, the team started out slow and never did make a valid effort to make the playoffs, promotions will do that.  Looks like if I want to see any playoff games is to drive to Clinton.  In the meantime, The QC jam band of The Dawn played and they delivered two amazing sets last night.  Sean Ryan provides the set list:

The Dawn- 8/20/16
Set One:
Water In The Sky, Tired & Blue, Let Me Down Easy> Space> Let Me Down Easy, Phases> Drums> Sugaree, Troubled Days, Wait For The Moment, 1612, Rock Your Body
Set Two:
Born To Run, A Little Piece Of Mind, Blue Indian, Ticklelicious, Mikes Song> Wooly> Drums> Weekapaug Groove, Debra, Freezeframe
Bust outs: Tired & Blue and Phases haven't been played since 2014

Around this area, the places are still buzzin with great outdoors shows, QDogs held their annual Bluesfest with the likes of Tony Brown and Dan Johnson, Kevin Burt, The Janeys managed to play outdoors after the rains went through earlier in the morning.  This is Dan with the Skeeter Lewis All Stars.

(Photo: King Buffalo)
File this under Your Dream Date for the Month but it also is a discovery of a up and coming band that blew me away with their new album Orion.  They're King Buffalo and they're from Rochester New York but they play old time heavy rock blues with plenty of Black Sabbath Masters Of Reality sound with hints of King Crimson aka Red, although I'm sure the guys would disagree with. What we can agree with is that this new album is the future of real rock and roll, none of that bullshit NuMetal or bogus Autotuned angst Rock 108 plays.  In fact if Rock 108 ever plays King Buffalo, I'll be surprised as you will be.

Passing's: Lou Perlman, shyster and the guy that broke the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC big in the late 90s died in prison he was 62...Matt Roberts, formerly of 3 Doors Down died of a drug overdose in West Bend Wisconsin, Friday, he was 38.  Toots Theilman famed harmonica player that played on a few jazz albums and on a Billy Joel passed away Wed.  He was 94.

A Sandy Pearlman tribute by Paul Rappoport: http://classicsdujour.com/the-passing-of-sandy-pearlman-one-of-the-most-eccentric-characters-of-all-time/

Record Reviews:  (Popcorn jam photo of John Hernandez, Peter Stark, Terry McDowell, Tommy Bruner, credit: Brenda Snow)

Tommy Bruner-Camping With WiFi  (Orange City 2016)

He didn't take too long for the followup to Miles To Go.  On this recording, the odd time of My Sweet  Charade, is more of a slight departure from the previous album, he's not afraid to reprogram the drums to do such things.  Some songs a bit more darker than Miles To Go, the anti love of Not The One and Sizzling Rivalry  might suggest he was listening to Richard Thompson.  Except for Rick Clay adding some metallic guitar leads at the end of Cranberry Lane, everything is done by Bruner.  His mellower stuff still has that Mark Knopfler influence although Tommy has been playing guitar longer before Dire Straits came onto the scene.  Originally the album got delayed a few months as Tommy was looking for a more polished sound and added a few songs along the way.  To pick a song that would sound good on radio would take a bit more listens but I'd go with Aging Eyes, a bit more aggressive in song than It Doesn't Work Like That from Miles To Go.  Or maybe Purgatory Train, which bestows a dry sense of humor to perhaps the hardest rocking track on WiFi.  But the anti war and tribute to the last grod Republican  might be the most potent song on this album.   While the overall songs of Wifi might be better than Miles To Go, it's the recording that really stands out, it's one of the best recorded albums I've heard in a while.  Certainly he's not quitting his day job (that would be The Past Masters), but like fellow Iowan Bo Ramsey, Tommy Bruner remains one of the best songwriters out there.  Camping With Wi Fi shows that.
Grade A-

Julie London-Julie Is Her Name (Liberty 1955)

No shortage of her albums in the thrift store bins and while I remembered her most as Jack Webb's wife, then she would divorce him and marry Bobby Troup and they would stay together till his passing in 1999 and she would follow him a year later into the great beyond, of course being a chain smoker didn't help either.  Outside of that, she shared a love of jazz music with both Jack and Bobby and in 1955 did a very intimate torch light jazz album with Barney Kissel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass.  This stripped down affair did yield a hit single with Cry Me A River.  The rest of the album are basically standards by Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer and Irving Berlin and for background music before bed it's not bad at all.  Certainly not rock and roll but for being a torch singer with limited range, Julie knew her comfort zone and never stretch out too far.  Not a lot uptempo stuff,  Can't Help Loving That Man or S'Wonderful are about as uptempo as it gets.  But hey the cover art is sexy.  The record that I found was in fairly good shape, had a few pops and clicks for a early 60s reissue album not bad.  Once Bobby Troup started getting her into more arrangements with full bands and orchestras it got too pop for my liking.  But in a stripped down effort like her first album,  I can listen to it.
Grade B+

Robin Trower-Long Misty Days (Chrysalis 1976)

After putting together three strong albums, Robin kinda ran out of gas on this record and it didn't help with Bill Lordan smashing cymbals left and right really sucking the mood out the more quieter numbers like Hold Me and the title track but the title track sounds like a rewrite of I Can't Wait Much Longer.  Messin The Blues is the reason I still have this record, which the drummer does decide to play more of a drum beat and not cymbal crashes.  S.M.O is the second favorite but overall, it's one of the weakest efforts that Trower put out during the classic years.
Grade C+

Spike Jones-Dinner Music (for people who aren't very hungry) (Verve  1957)

Like Louis Jordan, and Bob Wills, Jones was the toast of the 1930s and 40s but by 1957, rock music and country kinda pushed these guys to the background.  Wills never changed his country swing and the MGM and Kapp albums were quite good.  Jordan did attempt to update his music with more rock guitar (courtesy of Mickey Baker and produced by Quincy Jones) for Mercury but people weren't buying sad to say.  Jones, on the other hand was a singles artist for RCA but in 1957 he decided to do his first every long player album and he revisits most of his RCA hits.  Of course the RCA sides were better but Jones made a valid effort to update them, Betsy Gay replacing Homer And Jethro on Pal-Yat_Chee is actually more hillbilly then the other guys, and only Jones could come up with a drum solo throughout Ramona, and decides to one up the Singing Dogs on Memories Are Made Of This.  Remakes never really top the originals, and despite what Spike tells you Cocktails For Two is slightly redone, but however I got a chuckle out of hearing Wyatt Earp Makes Me Burp.  Rhino did issue this on CD in 1990, but I found the G & O reissue of the Verve album in fairly good condition. Which seems to be the norm while sorting through old pop albums nobody cares about anymore at Goodwill.  When it comes to Spike Jones, I still do care.
Grade B+

The Thieves-Seduced By Money (Capitol 1988)

One of those odd ball albums of the 1980s that really didn't fit in with the trends.  The Thieves, actually belong into the side of Nashville rock and roll, owing a lot to Jason And The Scorchers, who even in their classic years, struggled to get any airplay on the radio but they did influence many of the rough and tumble bands of country, even the likes of A Thousand Horses and Blackberry Smoke can lay claim to that part of music history.  Another that comes to mind is the Questionnaires, who like Jason and company got stuck on the EMI label and made two albums that became bargain bin classics. While Gwil Owen wrote all the songs on this album, Kelly Looney would be better known for moving on to Webb Wilder and then Steve Earle and The Dukes, he played bass and Jeff Finlin, who later made a few albums on his own played drums but didn't write the songs.  And they were produced by Marshall Crenshaw, a cult star in his own right (at that time Crenshaw produced two classic various artists rockabilly CDs on Capitol).  But the sound Marshall gotten out of these guys were close the Jason And The Scorchers, but alas settled upon James A Ball to record the album and like most of Ball's recorded albums, tend to sound too boxy and cluttered.  At times, there some hard charging songs, Everything But My Heart sounds like I'm Not Your Man from Tommy Conwell (Conwell did make two albums for Columbia, Guitar Trouble was the better of the two, Rumble had the hit single) and the Scorchers sounding From A Motel 6 and the title track, to which would have worked better had Ball faded out the trainwreck ending. Black Lipstick sounds like the Romantics or Kings Of The Sun for that matter.  Owen has continued to write and record (although research seems to indicate that he hasn't done anything since 2010), but even in 1988 hardly anybody mentioned this album and I did find the cd for 20 cents at Stuff Etc a few years ago.  It won't make you forget Jason And The Scorchers or The Long Ryders but The Thieves were just as good if not better than Tommy Conwell or even Green On Red.  Problem was they were rock and roll, not hair metal.  For Cowpunk as they call it, it does rock.
Grade B+

The Uninvited-Pop This (Roarshack 1992)

Another band that couldn't find a audience after landing a deal with Atlantic Records in the 1990s was this band that had more in common with Too Much Joy than Sugar Ray, even The Rainmakers.  Steve Taylor had a dry sense of humor and didn't mind throwing a F bomb or two as indicated on Three Little Monkeys, somewhat a rap rock number, Ordinary Man a bit of punk bluegrass country roll.  Credit or blame Jim Wirt for the wide variety of styles, he'd later produced albums from Incubus and Jimmie's Chicken Shack later on.   This band, no relation to the Uninvited band that did Our Two Cents Worth, did make a good debut, they would improve on that when Atlantic snatched them up for a quick tax write off album.  But nobody around here knew much about this band, and this CD which gather plenty of dust at the thrift store was sold for 16 cents to me.  I tend to have a soft spot for bands such as The Uninvited and will continue to seek out the bargain bins for their four other albums.
Grade B

Florida Georgia Line-Dig Your Roots (Republic Nashville 2016) (Photo Meme:FTM)

More autotuned beat box bro country pop whine.  This time they try their hand at reggae with Ziggy Marley on the title track and somehow bring what's left of The Backstreet Boys on God, Your Mama And Me, which might have been a hit for the latter, say 1998.   Perhaps they have their eye on top forty radio this time out. Compared to country music radio today, you couldn't tell the difference. This should appease to the 16 year old females and drunken bubbas out there. For the rest of us, there's much better stuff out there (Nickelback, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steven Tyler)...
Grade D-

Albums from my youth: The Battle Of The Bands (Starstream 1982)

Many years ago before MTV took root into videos, the local starving bands would submit tapes and 45s to the radio station for hopes that their songs would get airplay, which many did not.  The bright ideal of the 1980s was to have bands submit demos, and the 10 best songs would get picked on a LP that the winner would have a chance to record for a major label, in this case Atlantic.  Who wouldn't want to record for a label that had Led Zeppelin, Big Joe Turner, Aretha Franklin, Yes and many others?  Well we were all blind once.  Miller Lite Beer sponsored and major cities had their share of bands sending things in.  Alas, time has not been kind to the dated new wave sounds most bands submitted, Jinx  had two of them and neither one stands out. Landslide also put in two songs, Yesterday's Gone the better of the two. I'm not sure who won the Cedar Rapids version, nothing comes up on the internet on who did and if they went to the final, the guess was Feeling Free with Ain't Got Time, which has a nice a bass introduction to it but they can't decide on what to do with the rest of the songs.  Tank's Dangerous Girl has a high end midrange guitar sound that is damn near unlistenable and The Misstakes  He's Not-She's Not There is so so girl pop.  The only ones that stood out for me is the goofy I Wanna Go To College by The Subsonics which has a Kraftwerk groove that's very catchy, but the lyrics are Sophomoric at best, Kicks with the more straight forwarded rock of Pessimistic People and the best one, Nick Stika and The Buzzard's punk rock of She's The One.   The next year 1983 the project was scaled back to a skimpy 4 song EP, with the unfortunate winner getting a EMI America contract (and you know how bad they were for a label; they couldn't do anything with David Bowie and J Geils Band, when both had hits). But, Starstream never did print out who the members were on these bands outside of the songwriters and most were well known around the area, rumors of Doug Robertson (later of Dangtrippers) were contributors.  For an album, it served it's purpose back then, but most of the music outside of She's The One or Pessimistic People, is just dated new wave or music trying to impress the Corporate brass.  Which might explain why the winner of the 1982 Battle Of The Bands Cedar Rapids Version didn't move on after the next finals.  It's just not very good.
Grade C+  


King Buffalo-Orion (Self-released 2016)

While rock and roll radio continues to mine the same 200 songs on Classic Rock Radio (or in KRNA's case 250) and modern rock/alternative rock radio sucks even more, today's new bands face a dilemma, do they sell out the major 3 labels and sound all the same or do they go with the net pod radio approach and go with the grassroots of playing live and releasing their albums on Bandcamp or CD Baby and hope for sales via word of mouth?  Being the old Crabb, I still can't get into most of what passes on the major labels but in the meanwhile the best music is out there via self released albums.  My favorite albums of the year are from the non major label artists, from local faves Wooden Nickel Lottery, Tommy Bruner and The Dawn as well as the established ones such as Foghat.  It's hard to keep up what's out there; I do think most bands try their best to put out what they think is great music.  Granted I am not much on Twitter anymore, unless I'm doing meltdown play by play of Iowa Hawkeyes game (coming in September) or promoting this website.  Once in a while I'll get followers that have music out there but those fairweather followers are bad rappers or so so pop singers or country wannabe stars  But Bob Lefsetz I'm not.  I have no connection to the major labels, but I am a part of Lucky Star Radio and anybody who wants to submit songs and albums can email them at gmail. (luckystarradio@gmail.com)  Certainly if anybody does follow me in Twitter land, I do check out what they have for music.  But since I'm in my 50s, I don't have much time as I once did but if it rocks I'll do my damnest to get the word out.  Provided if my fingers can type the review.

I'm guessing that my liking of the last Mondo Drag album, might have something to do with Twitter picking out King Buffalo to be a new follower, so basically I found their website and decided to check out what they had to offer.  Turns out that King Buffalo might have made the best hard rock album of 2016, even more than Mondo Drag's latest The Occultation Of Light.  Beginning with the title track, Orion, there is an element of foreboding bass and guitar, not heard since Black Sabbath's Masters of Reality.  In fact Sean McVey sounds a bit like early Ozzy Osbourne, as the song twists and turns into a sludgey jam.  But I also hear Hawkwind (Lemmy Kilmister when he was in the band) particularly into the reverb drenched vocals of McVey in Monolith and Down From Sky.   They also have a bit of Kyuss in them (Sleeps On A Vine)  although I think they're more in the 70 heavy blues rock, (Ummagumma Pink Floyd, Budgie), even Porcupine Tree too.  The kind of heavy blues rock that I always enjoyed.  Like Porcupine Tree, King Buffalo works well in the extended songs, such as Kerosene (which sounds a bit like Stranglehold, till the chaotic ending which does sound a bit like Budgie's Crash Course), the hypnotic Orion Subsiding and the 10 minute closer  Drinking From The River Riding. Already the band has been getting great reviews from the metal online sites and they should.  This is an album that really gets better with each repeated listens, unlike the stale modern rock heard on the radio, the last classic debut album that I heard was Radio Moscow back in 2009.  This is better, it's everything that I love about rock and roll and heavy blues, it's simple but it rocks, it's controlled chaos that doesn't overstay its welcome.  And even at the end of the 10 minute Drinking From The River Rising, you just want to play the whole album over again.  Time will tell but I do believe that King Buffalo is one of the best up and coming heavy blues stoner rock bands. And Orion is one of the best debut albums I have heard in a long time.  That's saying something.
Grade A

Singles Going Steady Medley-Davenport Finds (2 Years onward)

While the finds were not as great as they were two years ago, they were better than last year's finds.  I think I found 2 45s back then.  The results.

King Of The Road-Roger Miller  (Smash S-1965)  #4 pop 1965 #1 Country

Two years ago, was the best bargain hunt ever for 45s at the Salvation Army and every year after that, I seem to return back there.  Didn't find much but I did get a record case for the continuing growth of 45s.  Again, basically country finds and it's rare to find anything Roger Miller that isn't scratched up to oblivion.  This was the song that defined Roger Miller and of course credit must be given to Jerry Kennedy for the stripped down affair too.   B side is Atta Boy Girl, a brief minute fifty six of quick country fun.

Out Of Control-George Jones (Mercury 71641)  1960

Another honky tonk drinking song from the voice of country music.  While the majority of people will say he was the best at ballads, I still concur that his uptempo stuff for Mercury/Starday were some of the finest country music had to offer.  Certainly while the Musicor, United Artists, Epic, Asylum, MCA years had their moments too, the Mercury/Starday is where to start.  B side Just Little Boy Blue, is really a hard rocking country song in the style of White Lightning or Who Shot Sam.  Backing vocals by Donnie Edwards later known as Johnny Paycheck.

Dealing With The Devil-Merle Haggard  (MCA 52020)  1981

Ole Merle and those drinking honky tonk songs.  What he does best.  Eddy Raven co wrote this song.
B side Fiddle Breakdown show Merle's fiddling skills.

No Love Have I-Webb Pierce (Decca 9-31021)   #4 Country 1960

Another hit single written by Mel Tillis, a nice little singalong in the style of I Ain't Never with a bit of drum rolls like Til I Kissed You from the Everly Brothers.  I'm thinking Buddy Harman might on drums.  It's odd that in the past couple years of how many quality country singles I have found via The Salvation Army or St. Vincent De Paul.  It does help that they're in very good shape, although they have been  played many times (but not like the used juke box records).  B side Whirlpool Of Love isn't as memorable or good as No Love Have I.

Cannonball/Moovin N Groovin Duane Eddy (Jamie EP JEP-101)  1958

A rare EP that was in these bunch of records that I buy.  In the old days, when jukeboxes had EPs, they tended to cost more to play.  Growing up, there was a baby sitter that had a bunch of Duane Eddy 45s, and she knew those songs would keep me occupied for a while.  Produced by Lee Hazlewood during the classic Jamie years.   The other side has Mason-Dixon Line and The Lonely One.  Which means more Duane twangy guitar and plenty of honking sax and hoops and hollers. All four songs clock under 2 minutes.   The record looks a bit rough but does play fine.

Thanks to Karen Howarth for keeping all the records in their sleeves.  Rest assured these have found a good home at the hoarder house of hits.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week In Review; TE Radio 21 Paul McCartney, 50 Cent CD Reviews

During the big jams going on last week, I did stumble upon some CDs found for 50 cents at the Salvation Army with their 50 percent off sale and managed to find a bunch of goodies from the past.  All were in good shape.

What was found:

The Cars (1978)  It's debatable how this album managed to grab a spot on the classic rock list and I still enjoy the overplayed Good Times Roll, Best Friends Girlfriend, Just What I Needed and Don't Cha Stop.  And of course the wonderful Bye Bye Love, but I still think the last two numbers Moving In Stereo and All Mixed Up are filler songs.  The late Ben Orr made the songs become rock classics, Ric Osacek doing the more freaky I'm In Touch With Your World.  It's not a five star album to my ears, just like the beginning it's a B plus. No more no less.

Hanoi Rocks-Two Steps From The Move (1984)  These guys were the bridge from glam to what Guns and Roses would succeed with their debut but now sadly a footnote in rock history.  Who knows what would have happened had Dazzle the drummer not gotten into an ill fated ride with Vince Neil.  I don't think they would have done much in rock and roll, they were way too British for the US folks to care much about, but this album, echoes lots of Slade and even The Motors.  Their only known hit was a cover of CCR's Up Around The Bend, and the ballad Don't You Dare Leave Me is part Alice Cooper, part Mott The Hoople.  Overall, I like this better than Appetite For Destruction or even Mott (the 1973 album).  And Guns And Roses did pay tribute to them by issuing most of the Hanoi Rocks albums prior to Two Steps From The Move.  I give this an A minus

Billy Joel-The Nylon Curtain (1982)  After Billy's rock move Glass Houses, he went back to a more progressive piano sort of pop and while reviewers scream out POMPOUS and OVERBLOWN, I tend to enjoy this record a bit more.  Goodnight Saigon does kinda have that progressive rock vibe to it. I sure Bruce Springsteen wrote better blue collar songs than Allentown or Foreigner doing a better rock number than Pressure but I like both songs better than what the boss would come up with or that matter the latter band.  Mark Prindle would disagree with me on both songs.  B+

Sammy Hagar-Through The Fire (1984)  Basically a thrown together live document of original songs done with Neal Schon, Mike Shrieve and Kenny Aaronsen as the Red Rocker tried his back to revisit the first Montrose album.  Of course the original Montrose album wins out, better songs, better guitar player and a more rocking rhythm section, Shrieve is better at during the latin rock of Santana.  Not a lot of substance for songs but Top Of The Rock is a nice song and Without You could have been a hit had Sammy decided to record it for his own solo album.  For a busman's holiday, it's a okay album, but for a rock and roll album it does sound forced.

Other things:

Blogging for 14 years has been a labor of love, I sure didn't get into this to make money, none is being made here.  As I continue to look at the tanking ratings and back to double digit views,  I can see why folks like Groove Sandwich and others quit doing them.  In a way, it's a diary in the 14 years of buying music and commenting on things that matter or bands that matter.  It's a balancing act of trying to go to work, pay bills, play in bands and documenting all the happenings.  But I think at some point the frustrations of trying to keep things going with minimal comments, or people actually read this blog makes it even worth continuing on.  I've seen good music mags with a much more shorter life than Record World come and gone.  It's a far cry from the peace and love mags that I read growing up in the 70s onward, at some point the good intentions and good vibes become Corporate owned and all of a sudden the world makes The Kadashians  superstars.  You can do your best trying to tout bands that should have been better known, and there's other sites that do that, and once in a while you'll find a band that does take notice of your efforts but they're few, far and between.  And people do lose interest, I really don't have any of my original followers from About.com hanging around.  You get married and have better things to do, be a grandparent and post pictures of grandkids, work and try to survive their lives, some pass on.   It's tough to continue to blog on and cuss the computer out when words get misspelled or seeing editing errors and missing words to prove a point or review an album.  But rather a love of keeping the obscure and up and coming bands some acknowledgement.  Is it worth mentioning about the forthcoming announcement of Paul McCartney going back to Capitol a third time, nor Pink Floyd re reissing their albums via Columbia anymore?  They are established stars but in reality neither Pink Floyd has made any new albums lately, or Macca making a listenable album  worth a mention.  A few weeks ago Steven Tyler made his country album but nobody talks about that.  Used to be new albums were a big deal, now they're just a shrug and move on to the next flavor of the minute.   For new bands, NME named a few that I never even heard about in the first place, Glass Animals, Alex G, some 13 year old rapper Lil Poopy? And hard to believe that the Arctic Monkeys have been around for 10 years now.  And you still don't hear them on radio.

With KRNA making a return to Classic Rock, it's just going around in a circle. The classic rock format hasn't changed at all , you're still hearing the same ole tired crap and let's face it, classic rock hasn't changed at all since Kurt Cobain left us. The three Corporate Major Labels don't promote the up and coming rock and rollers who could fall in that classic rock format and they certainly don't play the new Eric Clapton nor Blackfoot or Skynyrd but they be happy to give you Free Bird or Sweet Home Alabama every hour on the hour.  It's fun to do something on net radio, where Townedger Radio base itself from, perhaps it would be better if a corporate radio station would promote something off the beaten path, or give a glimpse into how radio was forty summers ago before Slick Willie and his cronies gave us the Telecom 1996 act and basically killed free form radio as we know it.  Or promote the regional artist.  That don't exist anymore.

By then people give up buying music and simply play the stuff they grew up with or what Corporate Radio plays.  Or have the local band play those overplayed classic rock stuff at the local bar.    You can talk about it, rave about it in your blog and try to get the word out as best as you can, but in the long run there comes a point you just throw your hands up in the air and said I did my best and get off the social media and go mow the yard.  It might be 660 views or (today) 43 viewers but in the end, it really don't matter.  It just seems that you haven't accomplished a thing, even though you did your best to rave about forgotten bands that made an impact in your lives.  Despite the good intentions of KRNA, they will not play Swinging Steaks, nor The Townedgers.   They will mention a new song from the likes of Metallica but in the end, they end up playing Enter Sandman.  

Preston Hubbard, bass player for Roomful Of Blues and later The Fabulous Thunderbirds was found dead Wed.  He was 63.  Years of hard living caught up with him.  He's best known for the classic period of the Fab Birds (Tuff Enuff through Walk That Walk Talk That Talk).

The fire season in California has been hell for the people in San Bernardino County and a Route 66 icon Summit Inn was consumed by the Blue Cut Fire.  At 3:00 PM the staff was told to vacate at once and two hours later, the fire came through and burned it to the ground.  Only the sign was left among the ruins. (Photo from Cactus Hugs)

Is the third time the charm for Paul McCartney?  At the end of his career he decided to return back to the label that started it all for him, he signed a big deal with Capitol to once again reissue his back catalog starting his 1970 McCartney album and everything else along with it.   In this day and age, it may be his final victory lap but in three headed monster known as the major labels, this is looked with indifference  and a shrug.  By now, most everybody has had their albums in their lives and what could Paul possibly do to get people to reinvest in the forth make over of Band On The Run?  Capitol is no longer a major EMI label but rather part of the big Universal behemoth.  Or just a satellite label and a shadow of its former self.   I just don't look at this as anything major, unless it's the last of a dinosaur artist still valid enough to command some sort of dollars due to his legacy and being part of a band known as The Beatles and still have enough in him to make a classic album such as Band On The Run.  Outside of his Give My Regards To Broadway soundtrack, none of his albums since has made much of an impression on me.   In the meantime, McCartney did leave Capitol for a few years on Columbia and returned and then went to Concord for a few years and now has returned back to Capitol to join the likes of The Rolling Stones and Elton John, although Capitol didn't like E.J.'s last album, they had to reassign that to Virgin/Island.  It's still Universal regardless.  It means that Capitol will issue the new McCartney album next year and maybe in 1976 or even 1996 it would have been big news.  And for myself still into rock and roll forty years onward, it's worth reporting.  But by tomorrow you'll forget all about it.  Just like reading this blog and forgetting all about it the next day. That's how it is in a Pokemon-Go text and crashing your car into another not paying attention to the rules of the road.

And what else?

First Flight-First Annual Iowa Album (Snowflake 1980)

If you're from Iowa you would know more about this early album of some of the finest CR Musicians playing on 10 songs of living in Iowa.  My jam buddy Dan Johnson plays bass on half of the ten songs, including Iowa City Wild Weekend Nights with legendary guitarist Craig Erickson, all 2 minutes of its glory.  If you listen to this, you'd swear that the Craig Erickson that would make the more noisy lead guitar all over the place of his albums for Mike Varney's Blues Bureau label.  Dennis McMurrin, Dan's guitar playing buddy contributes Feeling Blue, a standard in the DaddyO/DJ duo blues band which they still play from time to time.  Mcmurrin and Johnson also help Roger LaBarge on his folk Mississippi River song.  Not a lot of rock and roll to choose from, Billy Janey coughs up his song Stone City with Jace Boleros,  and Voyager shows off their inner Rush tendencies with The Final Battle, which like early Rush, a nice medley of song ideas and music execution but it does feel like a filler track before you get the best cut on the album.  Akasha's Madam Operator to which they add a bit of EWF and Steely Dan to their jazzy blues rock.   The record tends to be a bit too folkish for repeated listenings and Billy Janey did make a better version of Stone City somewhere but for 1980 it did give a valid argument that Iowa musicians can make good music.  Sometimes a great song too.  For example seek out the SouthEast Iowa Comps of the 1980s and 1990s.
Grade B+

The Beach Boys In Concert (Brother/Capitol 1973)

The so called last album of the wilderness years before American Graffiti came along and rendered the Beach Boys to pure nostalgia.  In some ways they were trying to branch out to something outside other than Girls, Cars, and Surfin.  Hey, I like them doing Sail On Sailor and Marcella, but not so much Trader or Leaving This Town to which the folks waiting to hear California Girls or Help Me Rhonda took a pause for the cause or went and got more beer.  Mike Love was still creepy back then if you think about it, but with Carl and Dennis Wilson and Al Jardine still around they did keep him in check.  Hell of a backing band too, Ricky Fataar smashing and crashing drums left to right all the way to Fun Fun Fun which rocked pretty damn hard.  It's easy to dismiss this all together but it is a fun album even on the throwaways such as We Got Love or Funky Pretty; the version of Help Me Rhonda sounding like a jam band of all things.  The Beach Boys would never get this rocking ever again, even if Mike Love still continues to milk the Beach Boys name for all its worth, he'll never top these live performances from 40 plus summers ago.   Certainly the end of an era.
Grade A- 

Blackfoot-Highway Song (Atco 1982)

An import at the time (Wounded Bird did issue it in the 2000s) it showed the classic Blackfoot lineup tearing through some of their songs in front of a British crowd loving every minute of it.  Something about Jakson Spires that I really love to hear him pound those drums on Every Man Should Know and Train Train and they did pick out the best of the Atco sides, from Gimme Gimme Gimme to Road Fever to the Free Bird jam of Highway Song.  Would have been nice if they would have dig deeper, say Catch A Train or Flying High from the early albums  Nevertheless it's a jolly good time.  At least from the British fans side.
Grade B

Flight 16-(550 Music 1998)

Cry all the way to the bank, writes the dude from All Music Guide and even in 1998, Flight 16 was behind the times.  They couldn't figure out who to be, Alice In Chains, Verve Pipe, Our Lady Peace, Soundgarden but unlike the two star review in AMG, there are some enjoyable songs among the muck, Fly has got a nice beginning hook, My Only Love apes a bit of The Beatles and Poison Apple grabs a bit of Black Sabbath to go with their post 90s alt grunge rock.  For 56 minutes, even if you managed to sit through this album, the self loathing will eventually get to you.  It's amazing that I still have this cd in my collection after all these years, but to be honest, I still enjoy their attempt to recapture that flannel moment that passed them by.   But I don't know, even Flight 16 sounds a bit resigned to the fact that this album was a Sony Music tax write off and all they got for their effort was this album, now taking up space at local bargain bins at flea markets, next to Hootie and Limp Bizkit.  Even Dave Jerden, seemed to have a half hearted  (or half assed) in the production and mix of this album, the songs really don't come alive.  And their so called big hit If All The World Hated Me (wouldn't you be the one to love me) was wishful thinking although the rest of world had other things to worry about, like those up and comers Limp Bizkit's classic 3 Dollar Bill Y'all.  Certainly I go more for the pout rock of Flight 16 rather than the Bizkit goofballs and probably will dust this album off when the moment is right.  But pout rock never has aged all that great.  Just ask Matchbox 20, (or The Verve Pipe)
Grade C+

Townedger Radio 21-The Music of 1976 Edition  (Broadcast 8/18/16 http://www.luckystarradio.com/ )

Two String Guitar Song-Rodney Smith
Roadrunner-The Modern Lovers
Double Trouble-Lynyrd Skynyrd
Honey Child-Bad Company
Flyin' High-Blackfoot
Are You Ready For The Country-Waylon Jennings
Slick Titty Boom-Elvin Bishop
Turn It Loose-The Doobie Brothers
Sick As A Dog-Aerosmith
Walk Away-Joe Walsh
This Ain't The Summer Of Love-Blue Oyster Cult
Get Across To You-Eddie And The Hot Rods
Rolling And Tumbling-Dr. Feelgood
Good Vibrations-Todd Rundgren
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead-Warren Zevon



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Crabb Bits: KRNA, All Time Best Albums, FB And Company

Summer is winding down as you can tell.  The sun keeps setting sooner and we lost about 15 minutes of evening day time since August 1.  The turning of the tide, the butterflies making their suicide run to Mexico and monsoons a plenty.  Thursday Night, our area at work at six inches of rain and the the drainage system in the parking had a massive whirlpool going on and a waterfall in our falling apart place of employment that got the eastern end of the department all wet.  The sewers couldn't keep up and failed at Solon and at Coggin and plenty of roadways were under water.  I found that out the hard way going home and took Kirkwood Blvd and saw a raging waterflow into the street about a foot and half high.  Thankfully the car didn't stall.   I haven't been in a great mood anyway and the weather made it worse, as well as the messed up lights in town that seem to stay red longer than ever before.  No fucking fun, having the damn things changed in front of you and nobody is coming from the other direction.  Even if you do get a green light, nobody stops at them, I had three cars plus a Linn County Deputy waltzed out in front of me the other day.  Too much playing pokemon and yacking on the cellphones they are doing anything but driving.

The Saturday Night Sweet Corn Festival ended early when about 70 teenagers started getting into fights and things went downhill soon after.  It's the way of the world it seems anymore.

Bands a plenty going on, so I had to go out to see them.  First up is The Shadow, a new band project featuring Tommy Bruner and Bart Carfizzi from Past Masters teaming up with John Stepanek (The Twist And Shout) and Fossiltones leader Joe Hutchcroft playing drums.  Their first gig was Rumors Friday Night and for their first time they did sound pretty good.  I'll give Joe this, he can do the beginning of We're An American Band very well, at least he did when I heard him.  It was a strange night anyway, somebody spilled beer on Tom Miller, who usually pops up for the Elvis Medley but John Stepanek did fine.  And what to make of a woman making moves on the floor like somebody does at a strip club and watching her dancing partner getting wore down by her dancing.  The guy had to helped off the floor.   Most of the elite of CR was gone by the time I made it up there.  Of course Tommy Bruner's new album comes out this month and the Past Masters remain their day job, but The Shadow is a fun oldies band all their own when there's idle time.   Their Saturday show, local newsanchor Scott Sanborn of KGAN played drums to Roadhouse Blues.  Scott is a excellent drummer too.

Saturday, across the street from Crabb central, the church was having their bluegrass gospel fest going on and I managed to catch a couple sets, the best coming from a guy and multi-racial group to which a black girl played decent violin, and two black boys playing steel guitar.  It's nice to see them doing bluegrass rather than the usual gangsta rap garbage that's now commonplace.  There was a Spinal Tap moment on the exchange of banjo and guitar to Dueling Banjos, a guitar on a stand blew over by a 20 MPH wind.  However the grand moment was hearing them sing I'll Fly Away and Are You Washed In The Blood, for old gospel staples the 12 year old girl had a nice high lonesome vocal.  After that, I went into town to check out the Barks and Brew fest at New Bo and two bands were up there, one was Action Figures, which played 90s alt rock with the likes of Jane's Addiction or Cake.  You gotta admire them for even covering Reel Big Fish but I kinda got bored with their type of music before they close things down with Weezer's Hash Pipe.   Avery Riot suffered from sound problems from the onset, you can hear Stephanie Reynolds vocals very well, but you couldn't hear the drummer and the guitar player though.  Hopefully, their next gig (in September at the Chome Horse) they'll have better luck.  Finally, I concluded the Saturday Band Hopping with Skin Kandy playing outdoors at Cedar River Landing to a mostly packed bunch of motorcycle riders trying to win a 14 thousand dollar brand spanking new Harley Davidson.  Unfortunately for Chris Walters who won the bike but then lost out since he/she went home and some guy named Chuck won it.   Skin Kandy is hard metal rock and with a replacement drummer a bit more metallic than usual but thankfully his refusal to play anything Poison  kept me hanging around till the winner of the motorcycle was named and as they fire up Welcome To The Jungle, I called it a night, to which by then it was too late to partake a trip to Waubeek to see Dennis McMurrin, Tony Brown and Dan Johnson at F B and Company.   Even though I live close by, I never ventured to F B & Company but perhaps I should some day.  Perhaps I should check out their Saturday Night Jams too, maybe you should too. http://www.fbandco.com/home.html

With that out of the way, the big announcement comes from 94.1 KRNA to which the big mouth DJ, who kept wasting my time with his rhetoric and unfunny jokes (including F Bombs since he was lacking anything to say) at the Skin Kandy outdoors thingy, is that after two years of giving us alternative garbage crap rock is now they're going back to classic rock, which has brought out the Alt fans in droves, leaving nasty messages on their FB site and complaining even more.  The new station manager is Mike  Ferris who had good luck with stations in Madison and Norfolk Virginia.  And certainly KRNA needed a kick in a ass, the 2 year "alternative" (and I use that term loosely) rock simply didn't bring in the ratings and KRNA found themselves in the lower regions of the the charts.  So Ferris decided the best way was to revisit the classic rock format.  If you live in this area, there are no shortage of classic rock stations, 100.7 The Fox is classic rock and really doesn't vary their song list outside of the same 200 songs, with the exception of Lunchtime to which you might hear Momma Let Him Play or even Stealin', but even with Nikki Sixx's Sixth Sense, the songs are classic rock overplayed to the max.  KMRY has also gone stale with their classic rock/oldies format, likewise KOKZ 105.7.  So far the best classic rock I heard was Fazoil's playlist to which they managed to play, the likes of Uriah Heep Stealin' and Drivin Wheel by Foghat, not exactly obscure by any means. But still even with an obscure classic, it's back to Show Me The Way or I love Rock and Roll.

If anything Mike Ferris, does take this seriously about changing the classic rock format and adding more songs.  A look at the most recent played songs do show slightly more obscure stuff, Guns And Roses Mr. Brownstone has popped up, Deep Purple's Highway Star, (It's still off Machine Head), and Stone In Love by Journey and Fool For The City by Foghat although the songs are still coming off the so called classic albums.  I don't see a return to free form days of FM radio, and Brian does locate a copy of Full House by J. Geils Band or even a Status Quo song from the 1970 boogie days, or even Rory Gallagher  I might nominate him for President.   He even repiled to my comment about adding some Rory or Quo.

I hear you loud and clear. Keep checking in as I think you'll be pleasantly surprised the more you listen. I appreciate your feedback. - Mike Ferris

So at least he's listening to the listeners out there.  

If nothing else, it means I can actually listen to KRNA once again. 

Best albums of all time?

If I have to pick just 10 records to spend the eternity with  I'd be taking all of eternity just to pick 10.  I think we have had these discussions from time to time in the 14 years of blogging.  Let's just forget the all time great albums that get picked time and time again. Pet Sounds, Dark Side, LZ 4, Exile On Main Street.  All are worthy and must hear, but can you live without them.  If you have classic rock radio you can hear, Free Bird, Welcome To The Jungle, Walk This Way etc etc. and not have to worry about buying the albums or best ofs of these songs.  They'd be at your disposal 24/7.

And then there are the influences, (Elvis, Buddy Holly, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Redding, Jimi etc etc) and then you have to make space for their go to albums.  If Time Life could ever come up with the ultimate box set of the best all time 60s singles that would occupy a space too.  But at least check they have yet to release Gonna Send You Back To Walker, My Girl Josephine, The Last Time and I'm sure trying to clear clearance and performer rights is a nightmare itself.   If the criteria just limits to the usual suspects then, basically it's all a moot point.  But then again I think of the overall picture and not just the trail blazers.  Sometimes an imitator or bar band does more wonders for me than Sgt Pepper or the like.

So let's just say fuck it and pick the ones that I play the most.  It's not perfect nor open for debate.  These get the most plays and make me happy.

Howlin Wolf (the rocking chair album) 1962 
The Very Best Of The Bobby Fuller Four (1st Rhino attempt of a best of) 1990
Love-Forever Changes (Elektra 1967)
The Animals-Retrospective 
The Complete Buddy Holly And The Crickets
The Randy Cliffs-Trixie Trailer Sales (2002)
The Townedgers-Forthcoming Trains (2014)
The Who Live At Leeds (1970)
Mott The Hoople-Backsliding Fearlessly (Best of the Atlantic Years)
Ozark Mountain Daredevils first album

For better or for worse, this is the best that I can come up with.  To put my own band and The Randy Cliffs on top of Led Zeppelin or The Beatles might be blasphemous to rock and roll and to Elvis.  It's also a matter of taste too.    The only reason why Buddy Holly didn't make it is because of Bobby Fuller.  The Who won out simply of I liked them better than the Stones, Beatles, Kinks.  The Randy Cliffs won out due to their punk Americana bar rock and roll over The Ramones and Replacements.  While Mott's All The Young Dudes made them well loved, I enjoyed their sloppy songs for Island Atlantic.  Brain Capers over Dude?  How could you?  How could I?  It's my ten best all time. That's why.

The anything goes country rock of OMD did managed them to sneak up to grab the final top ten spot. The weirdness of Chicken Train, the cowboy Psychedelia of If You Want To Get To Heaven, the folk start of Colorado Song before ending on a rock out fade.  The record speaks volumes for me more so than The Velvet Underground and Nico, which I didn't discovered till 1985 and even though I loved most of the songs, I didn't worship it like the critics out there today.

And with only choosing 10 albums, I didn't even scratch the surface of jazz nor country, nor prog rock, nor pop music for that matter.  It's kind of like debating the best Billy Joel album, I can't stand Piano Man the song, his best to me was Glass Houses but that's nowhere near the top 50 nor 100 best. or Pink Floyd and how Dark Side Of The Moon changed your life but it didn't mine.  I was in the minority on Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, which does make the top 25 all time best.  But I'm not going to reveal the rest of the 90 best albums of all time,  They are interchangeable and would place simply of the fact that I remembered the titles of said albums.  I like jazz and I love Motown but as you can tell for only 10 spots, there was no room at the inn.

But in the long run, I'm better off just grabbing 10 random CDs on the shelf and heading out on the road and calling those my all time ten best but I doubt Steven Tyler's latest would even be considered. But for simply the 10 albums that would be taking with me to the next life, the ones that were mentioned, I think I could live with what I picked.

But of course your opinion will vary much different than mine.   And that's okay.   

Popcorn Jam this week was with Kenny Webb, Captain Kurt and my old Open Highway bandmate Dewayne Schminkey.  Basically we did rough go through songs like Can't You See, plus Oh Boy and We Belong Together sang by D.W.  and a couple of oddball jams between me and Kenny Webb while we were waiting for the other guys to come up with some songs.  

Coming later in the week. TE Radio, the 1976 Version.  

Photo found somewhere, this fan reminded me of Chris Walters who left before their name came up to win the 14,000 dollar Harley Davidson but don't feel too bad.  Some fan didn't get his nap in time and missed out having John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl pop up to photobomb him.  Just as bad as being tea bagged?  I'll be back later in the week.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

ICON-Molly Hatchet

Somewhere lurking around your local county fair or dive bar is a tribute band that doesn't features original members (the majority of them are dead, Dave Hlubek tours close to home) but uses the name of Molly Hatchet, next to Blackfoot one of the more blazing Southern rock bands ever to make the big time.  Originally Ronnie Van Zandt was slated to produce their first album but a ill fated plane trip took care of that and the band would wait a year to do their first album with Tom Werman behind the controls.

The original Hatchet, like late Skynyrd had a three guitar attack of Hlubek, Steve Holland and the late Duane Roland, balanced by Danny Joe Brown's croaking but original vocals which more than anything else shaped the Molly Hatchet sound.   Certainly, their 1978 debut remains one their best overall albums, even more than Flirting With Disaster, although the title track turned out to be their biggest hit and perhaps the only song you hear on the radio.  Live At The Agora Ballroom, an official bootleg issued in 2000 is the only known live document of the early Hatchet, recorded before Flirting With Disaster.  But the 1978 debut features their own arrangement of Dreams I'll Never See, the old Allman Brothers classic done in bar band style that Molly Hatchet's version has taken a life of its own.  Plus hard rock goodies like Gator County and Bounty Hunter.  While the guitar players kick butt, it is the Van Zant vocal influences of D J Brown that makes this record a classic.  Flirting With Disaster offered more of the same  Bounty Hunter morphs into Whiskey Man, Boogie No More, more Skynyrd based boogie rock and roll, and Good Rockin, more fodder for your local bar band to jam with.  It pales next to the first album but still mighty fine.

With that Danny Joe Brown left and Jimmy Farrar took his spot.  Farrar was more reared into the blues styles of Bobby Bland and other R and B flavored acts and Odds begin to show a bit more reliance on southern country rock, namely Charlie Daniels Band.  A bit more workmanlike, but there are still worthwhile songs (Dead And Gone, Few And Far Between,Sailor)  Take No Prisoners hinted more of a harder rock style, and even Baby Jean Kennedy from Mother's Finest duets with Jimmy Farrar with Respect Me In The Morning.  Even Katy Sagal (Peg Bundy) guest stars as backing vocalist. Some fine songs like Bloody Reunion but the album as a whole, like Odds, was lacking something.  A cheap Extended Editions live CD of the Farrar led Hatchet band shows the band in very good form.

But while Molly Hatchet rolled along, Danny Joe Brown did find the time to record a solo album, and his Danny Joe Brown And The Danny Joe Brown Band turned out the better of the bands.  Key note is that this band features John Gavin on keyboards and Bobby Ingram on guitar, a little known metallic guitar player but he would eventually would changed the scope of this band once he joined up in 1989.  The D J Brown Band album (produced by Glyn Johns) sharpens the visions of the first two Hatchet albums, and ended up with a classic song with Edge Of Sundown, with some of the best guitar interplay between Ingram, Steve Wheeler and Kenny McVey.  The DJ Brown Band was more akin to Blackfoot, especially on the harder rocking Hit The Road or Beggar Man.  Soon afterwards, the whole band quit on Danny Joe Brown and he resorted to use other players to finish the tour.  When Jimmy Farrar left Molly Hatchet, Danny Joe Brown replaced him and John Gavin replaced one of the guitar players. What remained of the D J Brown Band became Bounty Hunter and have continued on and off to this day.

In 1983 Molly Hatchet returned with a new drummer (Barry Borden from Mother's Finest) to come up with No Guts...No Glory an album that got mixed reviews.  Basically some southern rock (Sweet Dixie namechecks Willie Nelson), Ain't Even Close and Fall Of The Peacemakers, yet another song done in Free Bird fashion, starts out slow then boogies toward the end. When Epic was using their CX mastering process for the LP, that version made the songs stand out a bit better than the original stoic mix.  But with each new album, the sales became less and less and so in 1984 Terry Manning, fresh from his success with Z Z Top, was chosen to produce The Deed Is Done.  By then, Bruce Crump came back to replace Borden (who moved on to Atlanta Rhythm Section, then The Outlaws and now Marshall Tucker Band which he still plays drums).  The one thing that stands out is how loud the drums were mixed, beginning on the Gimme All Your Loving inspired Satisfied Man.  For the first time, Molly Hatchet was sounding more pop than southern rock and it drove a wedge into Hatchet fans, even though Satisfied Man made number 13 on Mainstream Rock and Stone In Your Heart number 22, the latter song sounds more Survivor than Southern Rock.  Despite the two star All Music rating, I still like this album a lot, including songs like Backstabber, She Does She Does (although the sax playing lead is not Molly Hatchet at all) and Straight Shooter.  Even with the new sound, The Deed Is Done bombed.  After Double Trouble Live, an album of the 1984 Hatchet playing live dates, Epic said bye bye to Molly Hatchet.

Five years later, Molly Hatchet returned to a new label (Capitol in the US/SPV elsewhere) and with Bobby Ingram in tow, replacing Dave Hlubek recorded Lightning Strikes Twice.  I remember talking to Duane Roland about this album in a chat and he didn't seem to care much about this album. Perhaps he was right, it was more pop driven with an eye on the latest hair metal trends. They even covered KISS's Hide Your Heart, and there was some half hearted attempts to revisit the southern rock cliche of Take Miss Lucy Home and There Goes The Neighborhood, but the outside song doctors didn't help much.  Another attempt to rewrite Edge Of Sundown as a ballad surfaces as Heart Of My Soul.  By then, nobody bought Molly Hatchet.  Two outtakes surfaced on Epic Molly Hatchet Greatest Hits which combines most of the Molly Hatchet hits and the two Jimmy Farrar written songs were off the Double Trouble Live album. The Essential Molly Hatchet upgrades the songs and even Jimmy Farrar gets his due on the Beatin The Odds and Bloody Reunion.

The final Molly Hatchet album of note is Devil's Canyon, the final album that Danny Joe Brown had anything to do with.  He did write a couple songs and is credited where due but Phil McCormick takes over at lead vocals and it's amazing how note for note he does sound like D J Brown.  Bryan Bassett (Wild Cherry, Foghat) came on to replace Duane Roland on Guitar and anything that Bassett plays on is worth hearing.  A producer originally, he produced the last album from Root Boy Slim, Bassett is a great slide guitar player.  Devil's Canyon returns Molly Hatchet to a more southern hard rock style and the key rocking tracks (Rolling Thunder, Devil's Canyon) echoes vintage Hatchet. They also echo the hair metal of Lightning Strike Twice with That Look In Your Eyes which sounds like a Starship reject. And then a pointless acoustic remake of Dreams I'll Never See.  In retrospect, Devil's Canyon is the final worthy album.  Each album, Ingram would remark on a more heavy metal sound that would get worse with each effect. Warriors Of The Rainbow Bridge their worst all time effect, as Ingram discovers the whammy bar for lead.  Justice (2010) Ingram lays off the hair metal and takes the time to revisit the Lynyrd Skynyrd songbook for better use but by then Molly Hatchet ended up becoming the original/tribute band of no members (except when Dave Hlubek leaves the house to record).  Their covers album Reinventing The Axes bring nothing to the table.  Aint' nothing different that your local bar band would do better.  The last true Molly Hatchet album is probably Jamming For DJB, from the Dixie Jam Band  to which former Hatchet members (including Jimmy Farrar) pay tribute to Danny Joe Brown, while D J does try to sing on Dreams I'll Never See Again.  Danny Joe Brown died in 2005.  To which Molly Hatchet basically died soon after.


Molly Hatchet (Epic 1978) A-
Flirtin' With Disaster (Epic 1979) B+
Beatin' The Odds (Epic 1980) B
Danny Joe Brown And The D J Brown Band (Epic 1981) A-
Take No Prisoners (Epic 1982) B
Extended Versions Live (BMG 1982) B
No Guts No Glory (Epic 1983) B+
The Deed Is Done (Epic 1984) B+
Double Trouble Live (Epic 1985) B-
Lightning Strikes Twice (Capitol 1989) B-
Molly Hatchets Greatest Hits (Epic 1990) B+
Devil's Canyon (Mayhem 1995) B+
Silent Reign Of Heroes (CMC International 1998) C+
Jamming For DJB by the Dixie Jam Band (Riffnotes 1999) B+
Live At The Agora Ballroom (Phoenix 2000) B+
Kingdom Of XII (SPV 2000) C
Warriors Of The Rainbow Bridge (SPV 2005) D+
Justice (SPV 2010) C
Reinventing The Axes (SPV 2012) D

(in the vinyl revival SPV in Germany has reissued some of the Epic albums from Beatin' The Odds and The Deed Is Done and Lightning Strikes Twice-no word on if Sony Music has followed suit, although the guess is that the first two might have come out on vinyl and would sell for about 25 dollars apiece. Quite a far cry from the Nice Price of 4.99 years ago.)