Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Potliquor - Levee Blues (1971)

Strange, how I never got around to posting anything by Potliquor. But I was reminded the other day and I'm glad. Formed in Baton Rouge in 1969, Potliquor released four albums in the 70's. And they're all good. This album is their second, and it's superb. Classic Southern Rock alright, with some tasteful boogie piano and excellent vocals. Really nice original songs and a couple of covers done originally (Lady Madonna!). Stand out track for me is a ballad. Listen to 'Beyond The River Jordan', and tell me I ain't right. I am of course ;-). Cheer!

Monday, December 08, 2014

The Winters Brothers Band - Live (1980)

It's the jolly time of the year again, so here's something nice for under the tree. Classic Southern Rock by The Winters Brothers Band, recorded live in 1980. Mostly excellent SBD recording, though with a few patches of radio noise. Sit this one out though, and you won't be disappointed. Obviously they're playing 'Sang Her Love Songs', but this show gives a great representation of what these cats were (and still are?) all about. Southern Rock smack dab in the middle of Skynyrd, The Allmans and the CDB. Nice to hear an early version of 'Keep On Runnin'', of which a studio version had yet to be released on the 1985 album of the same name. It's a smoking show which will have you up and dancing in no time. Happy holidays everybody! Old stories...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Creed - Believe It (1983)

Released five years after their debut, this is Creed's second and final official release. And we're talking the original Southern Creed here. A bit like dessert after a main course, since this is a nice little EP with four songs. But it's tasty and you won't be disappointed. Adapting to the 80's, they wound up with four catchy tunes that are really quite a treat. I especially enjoyed 'Really Doesn't Matter', with some real cool guitar. Vocally it's all okay, and the songs are all pretty alright. Apparently they still play occasionally, doing reunion shows in the Memphis area. Anyway, this is good. Go get it! Can't face the night alone...!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Coldwater Army - Peace (1972)

Another lesson in Southern Rock history. This time it's Coldwater Army with their 1972 release 'Peace'. Coldwater Army featured Bobby Golden and Bob Spearman, and they would wind up in the excellent Stillwater. Whereas Stillwater would provide us with some of the finest Southern Rock albums, the same can't be said of Coldwater Army. Not that it's bad. Not at all. But it's a very different style of music being showcased here. Some songs are just plain hippie drivel, but the better songs - and there are quite a few - are more in the vain of Blood, Sweat & Tears or The Ides of March. There's a very informative interview with Bobby Golden, which you can find here. In it, a second release is being mentioned. Here's hoping that will someday surface on the world wide web. Until then, feast your ears on this. Hey, People!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cate Brothers - Radioland (1995)

Some more Cate Brothers for ya (it's been a while). 'Radioland' was released in 1995 and sounds like it too. Cate Brothers were always leaning towards a cleaner, more soulful side of Southern Rock. But in the 90's Blues all of a sudden became a hip thing again. Slick Blues that is. You know, everybody seems to do it at that time. People like Gary Moore and Les Dudek. The kind of Blues that seemed inspired by the likes of Robert Cray. So is it any good? Hell yes, it is. Cate Brothers always had a very tight band, and that hasn't changed. The skillful and tasteful playing combined with the wonderful voice of Ernie Cate, well you just can't go wrong there. To be honest, I miss the Funk and sound of the Asylum albums, but there's not a Cate Brothers album that I don't enjoy. This you can perfectly play late night, wooing your baby. Recovered Soul..

Friday, October 10, 2014

Don Winters & The Winters Brothers - The Yodeling King (1984)

Well, this record sure put a grin on my face. Yes people, it's the very first yodeling album on Skydog's Elysium. Don Winters (no , not Don Williams!) is (or rather was, since he passed away in 2002) the daddy of Dennis and Donnie Winters of The Winters Brothers Band. He has had a Country career since the late 40's and joined Marty Robbins' band in the 60's. As far as I can tell, he's only had one solo release, and this is it. Yes, it's Country and no, there's hardly any Southern Rock to be found here, save for two tracks. On those two tracks, 'Yodel Our Way To The USA' (which I hereby pronounce to be a definite Southern Rock classic) and 'The Yodeling King', the band playing and singing is basically The Winters Brothers Band, with papa Don yodeling along. Still, all in all, this is a very fine piece of work indeed. This album was provided for by Luc, who did an interesting interview with The Winters Brothers Band, in which this album was discussed as well. Read it here.
For those of y'all with an open mind towards Country, be sure to grab this. The playing and singing is excellent (as is the yodeling) and the songs are well chosen. 'Call Me The Breeze' is done nicely and, of course, this includes the Jimmie Rodgers standard 'T For Texas'. Great stuff that'll make for a good time feeling. Let's yodel our way to the USA.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Charlie Daniels Band - Volunteer Jam III (1977)

I think the Volunteer Jams, hosted by Charlie Daniels in the 70's, were the culmination of everything that's good about Southern Rock. Like a celebration of brotherhood and good music, with loads of different artists teaming up, regardless of musical background or preferences. Actually, I think these shows are what Southern Rock used to be all about: a big melting pot of different styles of music, all played with that distinctive feel that makes you recognize it for what it is. Great music from the South played by great musicians from the South and from outside. The original files I got from friendly former blogspot Tell It To The Devil. Those files came with the original commercials in between songs. It gave a nice impression of radio in the 70's, some commercials are quite hilarious to hear now. And it's very nice to hear Ray Charles sing praise to Scotch audio tapes. You can get the original files here.. However, for repeated listening enjoyment, I found they become annoying after a few spins. Therefore I edited those out as much as possible, and tried creating one big show lasting over 90 minutes. Pure ear-candy for the rugged Southern Rock ear. Obviously it starts off with The Charlie Daniels Band doing their thing. Hey, this is 1977, and The Charlie Daniels Band is having their finest hour. A nice set, featuring songs like 'Cumberland Mountain Number Nine', Sweet Louisiana, Roll Mississippi and High Lonesome. Then it's time for Willie Nelson to come up with the goods. And he does with classics like 'Stay A Little Longer' and Good Hearted Woman. Killer track of this show, in my opinion, is 'Green Grass & High Tides' by The Outlaws. Throughout the artists are helped out by people like Bonnie Bramlett, Jimmy Hall,Mylon LeFevre, Chuck Leavell and the boys from Grinderswitch. There's one song by Papa John Creach, of which I don't know the title (help me out here). Toy Caldwell of The Marshall Tucker Band closes up with a little help from a lot of people. All in all, this is a perfect example of what Southern Rock was really all about. Can't You See?!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Grinderswitch - Pullin' Together (1976)

This album, 'Pullin' Together', was my first introduction to Grinderswitch. And it's still one of my favorites of theirs. It was also the first album with new keyboard player Stephen Miller, which surely contributed to a fuller, richer sound. Besides that, the songs are just plain good/fun. On Sweet Home Music there's a nice interview by Luc with guitarist Dru Lombar, which you can find here. Grinderswitch was one of the main Southern Rock bands (on Capricorn) of the 70's. If you're new to Southern Rock and want to know what it was all about before everybody wound up sounding like Lynyrd Skynyrd, this is a nice place to start. Higher ground.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cowboy - Boyer & Talton (1974)

Formed in 1969 in Jacksonville, Florida, Cowboy was a band with many connections. They had Duane Allman playing on their '5'll Get You Ten' album, they accompanied Gregg Allman on his solo tours and halfway through the 70's they would basically become the Capricorn Rhythm Section, playing on quite a few Capricorn releases. This album, 'Boyer & Talton' (a bit like the Rolling Stones calling an album 'Jagger & Richards'), was their third. Musically it's on the Country side of Southern Rock, a lovely laid-back affair. No soaring rock vocals or endless jams, but a nice collection of Southern Country Rock songs. All played tastefully and easy on the ear, Cowboy provides us with the ideal soundtrack to a Sunday morning. Everyone Has A Chance To Feel...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mother's Finest - Countdown Cafe (1989)

Countdown Cafe was a Dutch radio show, which aired a lot of great concerts in the 80's and 90's. In 1989 this Mother's Finest (from Funk Rock Georgia!) show was broadcast. Promoting their (arguably worst) album 'Looks Could Kill', they sounded hot as ever. While the studio album was a rather forced attempt at being hip, live there was hardly any difference. Mother's Finest live is always a treat. And since I'm off to go see them tomorrow in Rotterdam, it's the perfect excuse to share this not-so-widely-circulating show. Juts one song of the studio album, a tune called 'Legs And Lipstick', which is so much better live than in the studio. The rest of the set is classic Mother's Finest, with Joyce 'Baby Jean' Kennedy and the rest of the gang burning down the house. Can't fight the feeling!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Joyce Kennedy - Mother's Finest! (1965)

Here's something I've been looking for myself: the very first recordings by my all-time favorite female singer, Joyce Kennedy of Mother's Finest. I've posted some Mother's Finest before on this blog, and musically that band operated on the borders of Southern Rock. But hey, I'm here to broaden your perspective on good Southern music ;-) Posting this, is taking it even one step further. Theses recordings were done from 1963 up to 1965 and have nothing to do with Rock whatsoever. Instead we get a nice glimpse of somebody who would wind up fronting one of the most exciting bands of the 70's and still doing that to this day. This post includes 9 pre-Soul R&B. Sometimes reminiscent of Ike & Tina Turner, sometimes getting closer to stuff like 'My Boy Lollipop'. Joyce Kennedy was approximately 15 to 17 years old at the time of these recordings. Still a giant leap from the Southern Funk Rock of Mother's Finest. Some track, however, stand out and we can hear the unmistakable voice of 'Baby Jean'. Favorites of mine would be "Darling I Still Love You", "The Hifi Albums And I" and "Does Anybody Love Me". If you dig old school R&B, Soul, Mother's Finest or if you're an open-minded music lover, this set should really please you. Could this be love?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Blackberry Smoke - On The Air (USA-2011-2014)

Blackberry Smoke, the laid-back Country pickers of Southern Rock at their laid-back-best. This is a fine collection of radio-broadcasts of recent years, mostly acoustic and all very good. Thanks to Bigfootkit for bringing this to our attention! Live from the back porch, that's about the idea. Splendid set to play in the background whilst enjoying your BBQ or sippin' a beer. Quite a few well known tracks from Outlaw Country wonderland. Blackberry Smoke, I love it. Good one comin' on ;-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Allman Joys - Early Allman (1966)

Well, this is it. The spark that started the fire, the smouldering ember that would set ablaze Rock & Roll as we knew it and introduce the world to Southern Rock. Arguably? Big words, but there's some truth in them. The Allman Joys were the first recording outfit featuring both Duane and Gregg Allman. Released in 1972, these songs were all recorded way back in 1966. And it's definitely a product of its time. Don't expect a jam oriented, Blues based free-for-all. Instead this album offers a glimpse of what was to be, young boys trying hard to find their identity. All short songs, it has a typical 60's Pop/Rock sound, features quite a few covers and makes for an amusing listen. My favorite songs on this album would have to be 'Changing Of The Guards', written by Gregg, which would finds its way onto The Hour Glass' "Power Of Love" album. Half the album was produced by John Loudermilk, the other half by Buddy Killen. I suppose at the time, they weren't quite ready for the big time, but we all know eventually they sure would. So, dig into some serious Southern Rock history people. This is a new rip, and I'm quite sure how it compares to others (seems there are quite a few around, but I prefer my rip over others I've heard). I just hope you enjoy this little treat. After Allman Joys, Duane and Gregg would have their little adventure in California with The Hour Glass, followed by a recording (as Duane & Gregg Allman, which would also see its release in 1972) with 31st Of February, before forming The Allman Brothers Band. But this is where the story of Southern Rock truly starts. Get yourself a spoonful!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cobra - First Strike (1983)

Cobra featured one of the finest voices in Southern Rock music. Sure, his contribution may be limited to little known 70's act Target, but Jimi Jamison sure showed off his pipes on those two albums. Of course later on he would become world famous for singing with AOR slickers Survivor and no trace of Southern influence was to be heard since. But in the in-between years he at least put a smile on my face with this release. This probably has more similarities to Joe Lynn Turner-era Rainbow, but try hard and you will discover some Southern sensibilities. The band was founded by Mandy Meyer, and besides Jimi Jamison also had Jack Holder of The Hot Dogs and Black Oak Arkansas playing. So the singing is pretty brilliant, but the songs stick and I've really enjoyed repeated listening. Some typical early 80's AOR/Hard Rock maybe, but the sound is tougher and more down to earth. Oh well, I guess you figured it out by now: I'm just looking for some good excuses to post this classic Southern AOR/Rock album. And here you have it. First strike!