Friday, December 25, 2009

Molly Hatchet - Live At Reading (1979)

Here's a raunchy little Rock & Roll show for ya. It's a short concert of Molly Hatchet playing at Reading in the UK. And even though I'm not the biggest Hatchet fan, I can't deny that this is really good. And I do love their debut album, that's a classic. Lots of energy and great songs. This was a performance recorded right after finishing their "Flirting With Disaster" album, and the boys in the band are in fine form. Southern Rock with Rock being the key word here. Some minor issues on this show, probably caused by the tape transfer? Some muffled sounding bits, but nothing terrible. Anyway, very much worth checking out. C'mon baby, let the good times roll!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Swallow - Out Of The Nest (1972)

A bit of an oddity here. Swallow gets in by connection. But the thing is, the connection was only made on their second album, which I will post later on. That album was recorded in Studio One and produced by Buddy Buie and featured members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Not this one. So what we have here has nothing to do with Southern Rock at all. I figured you might be curious about this record after I post their second. But I fixed this one first, when I got the rips from Luc. So there.
"Out Of The Nest" reminded me mostly of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Gravelly vocals, very good, and lots of horns. Quite a powerful Jazzy/R&B/Soulful Blues Rock release. And despite it not being Southern Rock, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album. Look to the future and remember this. Shuffle.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rusty Wier - Rusty Wier (1975)

Rusty Wier was a bit of a cult legend on the Austin, Texas scene. Was, since he sadly passed away on October 9 this year. He will be missed, that's for sure. Because Rusty did make some wonderful records since 1974, holding ground somewhere in between Outlaw Country and Southern Rock, though his later albums leaned more towards Country.
This album, "Rusty Wier", from 1975 should attract quite a few Southern Rock fans, though. It's his second album and it's a really fine ride. There's a great groove throughout the music on this record and there are some cool cats playing along. Pick of the day: "Dixie Lynn". Rusty has a very distinctive voice, which I absolutely love to bits. If you haven't heard about Rusty before, this is where you get on. Fly away..

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dr. Hector And The Groove Injectors - Prescription (1987)

In the early 80's lots of Southern Rock bands decided to try their hand at commercial Pop Rock/AOR, like 38 Special and Molly Hatchet. Grinderswitch, on the other hand, decided to just call it quits. Dru Lombar grabbed the opportunity to launch his new band with this 1987 debut album. Dr. Hector And The Groove Injectors was not quite what Grinderswitch used to be, though the music is far from the usual 80's fare. Instead we get a good dose of well played, inspiring Rhythm & Blues/Blues Rock with some definite Southern guitar picking. Nice vocals too (no, not necessarily when Dru is singing...). And horns. It's a really satisfying album and I'm sure glad Luc sent me a rip. This is not the rip already circulating on other blogspots. You be the judge which is the better. Learn more about Dru here. Great album, great songs, great for throwing a party. Kingsnake shake.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blackfoot - Medicine Man (1990)

"Medicine Man" was Blackfoot's come back to Southern Rock, after having made a couple of slick and poppy Rock records. And they were back in fine form too. No longer the original line-up (of the albums up to "Marauder"), this band was still very much able to deliver the goods. There were two versions of this album. One included only 7 tracks. This is the one with all nine. It's been out of print for quite some time, so enjoy. I sure wish mr. Medlocke would quit his daytime job and give us another Blackfoot album. Cause the man rocks when he's the main man! This album features one of my all-time Blackfoot favorites: "Chilled To D'Bone". B-b-b-b-b-boogie!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Whiskey River - Whiskey River (1981)

Whiskey River was a Country Rock band with some Southern Rock and Outlaw influences. They released two independent albums, of which this is their second. It's a very nice record which should appeal to fans of later Charlie Daniels records and the Earl Scruggs Revue. This album was produced by Randy Scruggs, and he does a wonderful job. All songs, I think, appear to be originals and are well written and executed. Nothing too heavy going on here, but it's nice steady rockin' all along. Thanks to my French Connection (again...) for providing this rip. I also have their first album ripped, and I will post that later on. Yippee kay-ah-yay!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Tim Brooks & The Alien Sharecroppers - Back In The Game (2002)

There were some speculations going on about a new CD being released by Tim Brooks, but I guess it takes some more time. In the meanwhile the first Tim Brooks & The Alien Sharecroppers' CD's are no longer available. Which is too bad. Just listen to this beautiful piece of Southern Blues Rock: "Back In The Game", their second album. Again, at times very reminiscent to The Allman Brothers Band, this is Tim and his band at their very best. Tim can play that guitar with the best of them (as has he done), and The Alien Sharecroppers are a more than worthy group of pickers to back him up. Tim handles some vocals himself, but vocally the star of this record is Jon Wimpee, who also plays guitar. Just check out the track "Hanging By A Thread" (written by Tim and his brother Gregg). It's a classic! "Back In The Game" is a 'band record', which to me means that it's a very cohesive record where everything comes together as it should. Some of the finest Southern Rock songs and one hell of a band! Let's hope that new record will be out shortly. C'mon guys, don't hesitate: you want this! Possum chops..

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gladstone - ...From Down Home in Tyler, Texas USA (1972)

"...From Down Home in Tyler, Texas USA" is Gladstone's debut album. I'm not sure about the year of release. My guess is that it was initially released in 1971, and then, renamed as simply "Gladstone", re-released in 1972. With a different cover as well..

All songs are the same on both albums. Maybe the cats at ABC (their label) thought the cows on the first cover would turn off city folks? Anyway, this is a very nice album (both) with some good Southern Country Rock. A bit lightweight, but pleasing to the ear. Don't expect any hard Southern Rock here, this is more for lovers of early Outlaws music. Sweet..

Friday, November 20, 2009

Black Oak Arkansas - Leprechauns In Orlando (1979)

Alright, a little bit of some harder stuff this time. This is a live broadcast of Black Oak Arkansas from 1979, with a 15 year old Shawn Lane picking some fierce guitar. The show comes one year after their dreadful Capricorn release "I'd Rather Be Sailing", but this show is actually quite energetic (as opposed to aforementioned album) and good. Though the recording itself is really raw (not quite in a state to have it officially released), this should well please any BOA fan. Quite a few songs on here which never made it onto any officials release, as well as some classics like "Jim Dandy" and "Race With The Devil". Rough Stuff.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heartwood - Heartwood (1973)

This is Heartwood's first album. Or rather, a re-recording of their first album. They recorded these songs and when they were signed to the GRC label, it was suggested they re-record the lot. Which is what they did. And here it is. A pleasant piece of Southern Country Rock. Thanks again to the French Connection (they do provide a lot of what I post). If you like The Outlaws' harmony vocals, this is your stop. And like those early Outlaws records, you get lots of Country too. But not the slick kind. I'm loving this lots.
Former Heartwood drummer Robert Hudson has his own website, where you can read about Heartwood as well. It's here. Then there's more to read on They have an interview with both Robert Hudson and Tim Hildebrandt (guitar/vocals), which you can find here. They speak mostly of their second album, "Nothin' Fancy. But be sure to check this, their earliest songs, out. You'll love it. Showdown.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Don Bowman - From Mexico With Laughs (1967)

Crazy man Don Bowman again. Mexican style. He must've figured, since Herb Alpert was cashing in on the Mexican vibe in the 60's, that he could make a good buck too? Well... Let's just say, Don isn't exactly Herb. Thank god. But it gets funny alright. I have included the b-side of the "Tijuana Drum And Bugle Corps" single, a song called "Little Leroy", as a bonus track. Laugh!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Rick Cunha - Folkscene (1976)

This recording has Rick Cunha live in the studio with some help from Jeff Gilkinson. Folkscene was a radio show on Los Angeles' KPFK station. On this episode we hear Rick playing and talking one year after his "Moving Pictures" was recorded (which wouldn't be released until 1980). The recording suffers from rather heavy tape hiss, but you'll get used to that if you're interested in Rick's career. Later in his musical life, Rick would join Na Kama Hele, playing Hawaiian music. Here we already hear him talk lovingly about Hawaiian music, though the songs played are mostly in the vein of his two solo albums. If you haven't heard Rick before, I suggest you start with his "Cunha Songs" album. If you already know and love his studio albums, get this.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tony Joe White - The Real Thang (1980)

Like many Rock musicians in the late 70's, Tony Joe White too got bitten by the Disco bug. And whereas many accused Tony Joe White of selling out, I quite enjoy late 70's flirtations of Rock music with Disco. In Tony Joe's case that would be Swamp Rock with Disco, cause he still sounds swampy, despite the definite Disco beat. And there's some great songs on this album as well. A few remakes of older songs and one that he'd later re-record. And over all a very happy record. Brought a smile to my face for sure! This is a rip I found on the web. I don't know who ripped it, but it's done beautifully. Thanks! So, if the idea of Tony Joe White incorporating Disco doesn't seem like that bad a deal at all, you will not be disappointed with this record. Throw yourself a party and do some booty bumping to this instead. I know I will. Cause I get off on it..

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils - Heart Of The Country (1987)

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were always slightly more on the Country Rock side of Southern. And maybe therefore being dismissed as lightweight, not worth investigating. But the OMD made some pretty exciting albums in the 70's. And then came the 80's. Like any other Southern Rock band around that time, time came for a change (for the worse, if you ask me). And The Ozark Mountain Daredevils also embraced that clean, lifeless musical approach. This album sounds at time like Jackson Browne's "Lives In The Balance", productionwise that is. "Heart Of The Country" has some good songs. But there are also a couple of embarrassing tracks featured here, which is mostly because of the sterile 80's production. Which is making the record sound terribly dated, and not aging well... Not my favorite OMD record (which is "The Car Over The Lake Album" from 1975), but it's a nice addition for any OMD fan. Wilder Days?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Jay Boy Adams - Fork In The Road (1978)

Texan Jay Boy Adams is a singer/songwriter who has released three solo albums. "Fork In The Road" is his second. and it's a great mix of Country Rock and Southern Rock with some West Coast thrown in for good measure. It has a rather slick production but, since the music sounds passionate and driven, that's not a problem at all. What you get is a good sounding record with plenty good songs and some fierce picking. A couple of times the guitars will remind you very much of The Allman Brothers Band, and some vocals harmonies that would make the Eagles go "ooooohh!" (Jackson Browne and David Lindley guesting on this album). I do wish I had a mint copy of this to work with, because the vinyl I worked with for this rip was a bit too worn. Better still, somebody should release this on CD. For his third release the world would have to wait 30 years, 2007's "The Shoe Box". Jay Boy Adams was also a part of Southern Rock supergroup Brothers Of The Southland, which released a wonderful album in 2009, called "Brothers Of The Southland". Buy it. And listen to this record. Superkicker!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Joe Sun - Hank Bogart Still Lives (1989)

"Hank Bogart Still Lives" is Joe Sun's most Country sounding album. But as Joe himself explains in the liner notes, he had a bit of a theme going on here. Apparently this is the result of a decision to dedicate an album to everything he and his friends loved about the good ol'days, when Hank Williams and Humphrey Bogart were the hottest thing in town. If you know Joe Sun, you'll love this, regardless the theme. If you don't, you may want to check out his "Storms Of Life" album first. I think that's the record that will enthuse Southern Rock fans the most.

If you dug this video ("Jimmy '93", not on the album, though "Jimmy '55" is...), enjoy the sound of The South being born..

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pride - Just For You (19??)

This album by Pride was requested by thebavariansouthstaterocker and kindly provided to Skydog's Elysium by Jacques and Luc. Thanks! "Just For You" appears to be the sole release by this quartet. Besides it being offered on Ebay, I could find no information on the band or this release. It appears to be an independent release, recorded in Nashville, with no year of release mentioned on the sleeve or label. The music has some Southern Rock influences, though it's mostly straight up Country Rock. Of the happy kind. All songs are originals by the group. The band members are: Ric Simpson - guitars & vocals, Roger Smith - bass, acoustic guitar & vocals, John Lovins - piano, organ, moog, strings & vocals and Chris Peak - percussion. Several musical contributions made by guest musicians. All information can be found on the scans of the sleeve, added within the file. If someone out there knows anything about this band at all, please share it with us. It's a nice obscure find. Just for you.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Artimus Pyle Band - A.P.B. (1982)

"A.P.B." is the Artimus Pyle Band debut. While the other Lynyrd Skynrd survivors all joined forces in the Rossington Collins Band, Artimus Pyle started his own group. Musically it's closer to 38 Special than Skynyrd, and if you like that type of Southern Rock (heavy on the A.O.R.), this should well please you. I prefer this release over the "Nightcaller" album, which besides the music itself is also because here all songs are sung by a male singer (I don't care for female Southern Rock singers, sorry..). Nice album. Makes More Rock...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Larry Jon Wilson - Loose Change (1977)

Aaah, that wonderful voice of Larry Jon Wilson. What the hell is wrong with the world? These Larry Jon Wilson albums from the 70's are like the crown jewels of Outlaw Country music, they should be available to all. But they're not. So, I'll gladly inform y'all on this lost gem. "Loose Change" is album number three by Larry Jon, and like "New Beginnings" and "Let Me Sing My Song To You" it's more of the same. Greatness that is. Sometimes the arrangements are a little lush, but there's always enough raw beauty and substance to keep the music enthralling. The rip is less perfect than the previous two, so if anyone out there has a clean copy, please holler. Also, I'm still looking for "Sojourner".
In 2008 Larry Jon made his first new album since "Sojourner" from 1979. Called "Larry Jon Wilson", the album doesn't resemble his 70's albums very much. Still very good, but since the instrumentation is stripped down to the bare essentials, it's less interesting to me. I love the big arrangements of these albums much better. Well, that's just my humble opinion, you be the judge yourself. It's still available so check it out. He's still got that amazing voice. For now, all I need is some Loose Change..

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Elvin Bishop - My Father's Place (1979)

Elvin Bishop live @ My Father's Place is Elvin having a party alright. Elvin Bishop music is always good time music, and live he's at his very best. This is a live broadcast from 1979, two years after his official live album "Raisin' Hell'", and it's a treat. A little less polished, but that only adds to the charm of his music. There's no Mickey Thomas present, so the emphasis is less on the singing, more on the picking. Southern Rock with plenty of Funk and Soul. And Blues of course. If you dig Elvin Bishop at all, you'll love this. Wiggle Wobble...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

George Hatcher interview on Sweethomemusic

On French website, there's a cool interview with George Hatcher. It's a French site but the interview is in English. You should go check that out. I think it's great he's still around and about to make a comeback in music. George is definitely one of my favorite Southern Rock singers. For those of you who don't know mr. Hatcher, he's released quite a couple of classic Southern Rock gems:
Dry Run (1976)
Talkin' Turkey (1977)
Have Band, Will Travel (1977)
Rich Girl (1978)
Coming Home (1982)
Hindsight (1985)
Check out his music and read about the man here!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lonnie Jolson Band - Swamp (1981)

Another fine obscurity provided by The French Connection (thanks guys), it's the Lonnie Johnson Band with "Swamp". A good album, though a little odd, which sounds like it was a product of the early 70's. And sounding nothing like 1981. Pretty obvious there was no major label behind this release. Cause the Lonnie Jolson Band do whatever they please. It starts off as a Country album, but as it progresses starts rocking out quite nicely. Musically it's somewhere in between Country and Swamp Rock. Very much a Southern thing alright. The album features several covers of well known tracks. I was very pleased with the version of Tony Joe White's "They Caught The Devil And Put Him In Jail In Eudora, Arkansas". This album should please fans of Outlaw Country, as well as fans of the mellow side of Southern Rock. Cool.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don Bowman - Recorded Almost Live (1967)

A little more zany stuff for all you corn heads out here. "Recorded Almost Live" is album number four by Country Comedian Don Bowman. Another fine slice of absurdities, the kind of silliness Don excels in. Like Don insisting his buddy should fight the man hitting on his woman, since he himself can't stand the sight of blood, on "Let's You And Him Fight". Added as a bonus to this rip is a single he recorded with Skeeter Davis, "For Loving You" backed with "Baby It's Cold Outside". Jimminie Cricket...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Warren Haynes - Live At 23 East Cabaret (1993)

I always found Gov't Mule fans tend to be sensitive about the best Warren Haynes output. Well, I love the early Warren Haynes solo period best! So, there you have it. Alas, "Tales Of Ordinary Madness" is the only electric Warren Haynes album so far. And I love that album to death. Besides that one, there are the great demos, "Some Ordinary Madness", which are a very welcome addition. But other than that, all that is left are some splendid bootlegs of live shows. This one, "Live At 23 East Cabaret", is among my favorites. So, I'd like to share it with you.
I always thought early Warren Haynes, sometimes billed as the Warren Haynes Band, added a lot more flash to the music. And that don't bother me, cause the songs are strong on their own anyway. Much less sober, especially compared to the first albums, than Gov't Mule.
This live recordings could do with a little more bass in the mix, but it's very much worth your while. It's also a lot funkier than Mule. And you know that's what I love in Southern Rock. Besides tracks of his debut album, Warren also plays "Just Before The Bullets Fly", which first appeared on Gregg Allman's CD of the same name, and which he co-wrote, and "Loaded Dice", which first appeared on the "Seven Turns" album by The Allman Brothers Band. Fire in the kitchen!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Heartwood - Nothin' Fancy (1975)

Heartwood made two albums in the 70's, this being the last. They were an Atlanta based outfit that played their Southern Rock with some very heavy Country Rock influences. Like The Outlaws, Heartwood were great on vocals harmonies. Stylistically there is a definite West Coast connection. Though it's closer to the first wave of Country Rock bands then later stuff. It's got steel and banjo, and some really nice songs. Winner titles: "Is It My Body Or My Breath" and "Sittin' On The Hood Of My Car". Thanks to Luc for the rip. The album was produced by Paul Hornsby. Sound advice.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Doyle Bramhall II - Doyle Bramhall II (1996)

Former Arc Angels' Doyle Bramhall II's debut is a lovely piece of art. He's from the Austin school of Blues Rock. But unlike most Austin Blues Rock, this has a lot of Soul influences, as well as a lot more detail in arrangements and instrumentation. And, thankfully, no straightforward Texas Blues Rock.
Listening to this record is almost like being hypnotized. The music just takes you away from the real world, into Doyle's little universe of spellbinding songs. And there's also plenty of Southern feeling to the music. The atmosphere is somewhat melancholic, but the songs have enough bite to stay captivating. The production is splendid, as is the playing. And Doyle's voice sounds very pleasant. I sure do recommend this record. It's been discontinued by its manufacturer, but I saw a copy on Amazon at the nice price of $222.79. That's rather steep. So, maybe you need to check it out first?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ned - Ned (1973)

The band Ned released one album, in 1973, which has a very strong Capricorn connection. Produced by Bill Stewart (also drummer for the Capricorn rhythm section) with help from Paul Hornsby and Johnny Sandlin. Playing along are Paul Hornsby and Tommy Talton (of Cowboy). But I have to admit that I don't know any of the Ned members. They are: Nick Talantis (vocals & guitar), Norman Reim (vocals), Jeff Parsons (guitar & vocals) and Alaric Jans (keyboards & vocals) with some help from Doug Mazique (bass & vocals) and Richie Morales (drums), Sammy Creason (drums) and Paul and Tommy.
The music is Southern Rock alright, albeit in its embryonic form. Lots of hippie sensibilities and feel good vibes. But, unless you're looking for a Molly Hatchet style album, it's got most of what you might look for in Southern Rock. I even get some funky licks. It's all very nice and worth listening to, if you don't mind your Southern Rock on the mellow side. All songs are originals and the record was released on Polydor records. Thanks to the French Connection (Jacques & Luc). Sounds like a Matinee Movie...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cry Of Love - The Borderline Presents... (1993)

Cry Of Love was a real hot band, which (unfortunately) only released two albums. Quite heavy Southern Rock with lots of Classic (British) Rock influences. A mixture of Free, Hendrix and Skynyrd, these guys rock out in style. And Cry Of Love was a great live band as well. As can be heard on the Warren Haynes "Wintertime Blues Benefit", for which they reunited after they had split up. Guitarist Audley Freed would wind up playing for the Black Crowes.
This show, live at The Borderline in London, gives you Cry Of Love at their best. Live and unrestrained. Good sound, very well written songs, sweet picking. If you like your Southern Rock on the raunchy side, get this. Because besides sounding somewhat raunchy, they deliver their repertoire energetically and with class. Old school!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Cates Gang - Wanted (1970)

Some splendid news about The Cate Brothers: the 70's albums have had their CD release for the first time. Apparently Wounded Bird Records were listening after all ;-).. So, go on! Buy that stuff!

And here we have the first album by The Cates Gang, "Wanted" from 1970. At last! I got this from Urk, and I'm well pleased. Thanks man!
I'm loving every minute of this record. Like its follow up, "Come Back Home", this has more to do with Southern Soul than Southern Rock. But it's still the jackpot to me. I guess these must be the oldest recordings of the Cate Bros./The Cate Brothers Band, even predating most of the "Arkansas Soul Siblings"/"Born To Wander" songs. Blue Eyed Soul anyone?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Joe Sun - Twilight Zone (1986)

Joe Sun has been going for quite some time, releasing albums since 1978 on several labels. Unfortunately he never received the kind of recognition he deserved. And he does. It's perfect Outlaw Country music, which should also easily please fans of Southern Rock, Americana and Singer-Songwriter music. He has a MySpace page, but it hasn't been updated since a 2005 Christmas single release. But judging from the comments, he's still out there making music.
This album was released in 1986 on the French label Dixie Frog. The music is still the same, though. Still very good. Very Joe Sun. Enter the Twilight Zone...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Artimus Pyle Band - Nightcaller (1983)

After the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash, the majority of survivors went on to form the Rossington Collins Band. However, drummer Artimus Pyle was not part of that party. I have no idea why. But he didn't sit still either. Artimus formed A.P.B. or the Artimus Pyle band and released two albums in the 80's. "Nightcaller" is the second album. I don''t know the first, so I have no comparison. This album, judging from the fact that the band is an offspring of Skynyrd and geographically came from the right place, had me expecting it might be a classic Southern Rock record. Well... no. It's the kind of 80's drivel we've seen so many great bands produce during the 80's, like 38 Special and Molly Hatchet. This is even poppier. And the fact that more than half the songs are sung by a female singer, with a real clean voice and hardly a knack for Rock & Roll, doesn't help matters at all. And when some guy sings the other half, it sounds like any 80's Arena Rock band. These cats must've been star-struck. Alas they didn't have what it takes to stand out. It's not the worst, I'll just never play it again myself. But if you're interested in the post-crash Lynyrd Skynyrd, like I was, this might satisfy your curiosity. If someone has a good rip of the first A.P.B., I would still like to hear it. As for "Nightcaller, just give it a try.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Moonshine - 1994 (1994)

This 1994 Moonshine release predates their debut album "Roughhousin'". It's a four song EP. And, when listening to these tracks, it's fairly obvious that this is actually a demo. It's a band in their formative stage, trying their hand at fresh material. Quite interesting, as demos often are. Two tracks of these recordings would resurface in re-recorded versions on their 1997 album (and sounding better there). Moonshine is a little bit of everything. It rocks mostly, but has some Funk and Country as well. These tracks would fit nicely as bonus tracks on their first proper release. Beer?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blackhawk - Live At The Troubadour (1997)

Blackhawk featured singer/guitarist Henry Paul, formerly of The Outlaws. After leaving The Outlaws, he formed the Henry Paul Band and released 4 albums (the last as a solo record). On those albums you saw a fine artist starting off with a great Southern Rock album ("Grey Ghost"), then changing musical paths from Hard Rock to more Pop oriented albums, eventually not getting anywhere. You can blame that on the 80's, which was bad news for music in general and even worse for any kind of roots music.
In 1994 Henry Paul, along with Van Stephenson and Dave Robbins, formed Blackhawk. A Country Rock band - hardly anything to do with Southern Rock - which immediately made an impact on the charts with the song "Goodbye Says It All". Blackhawk often got lumped in with acts such as Little Texas and Restless Heart, but in my view they were a cut above the rest. In all honesty, that probably had everything to do with the characteristic voice of Henry Paul. I was always looking out for his voice on the first 3 albums of The Outlaws, and I think the only decent song on "Soldiers of Fortune" was the Henry Paul song "Cold Harbor". But Blackhawk obviously has more to with Country than with The Outlaws. Still, as far as 90's Country Rock goes, this is as good as it gets. Live From The Troubadour is a radio broadcast from 1997 with Blackhawk performing an acoustic set. I hadn't actually noticed at first, but it's as mr. Paul says: "no amplifiers, just talent". The sound is splendid and the playing and singing are equally good. It does feature live renditions of "Every Once in a While" and "Goodbye Says It All". I really love the song "Just About Right".
These days Henry Paul is once again touring with The Outlaws, assuming the role of main man since the untimely passing on of Hughie Thomasson. Cross our fingers and hope that the new album, so long talked about already, will get a release very soon. Besides The Outlaws, Henry is also still touring with Blackhawk. And this is what they sound like.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Jackson Highway - Jackson Highway (1977)

Hot stuff, people! It's the first album by Jackson Highway, released in 1977 on the Muscle Shoals Sound label. I always thought their album "Jackson Highway" album would be my Holy Grail of Southern Rock, since I had been looking for it for over 20 years and it featured members of Blackfoot. When I finally found an MP3 copy I didn't yet realize that was actually their second album. And while I truly like that album lots, I have to say that I even more enjoy their first-born. I would even go as far as to say, this is easily one of my best posts, period. Ranks right up there with the Travis Wammack album "Not For Sale"
I had this rip sent to me by Luc. It was originally ripped by Russell Gulley (bassist/vocalist of Jackson Highway), And he's also the one that gave me green light to post this album. Thanks Luc and thank you very much Russell. Russell has a website on which you can find all about his current whereabouts, and also on his past with Jackson Highway. If you'd like to say hi, check out his MySpace. And listen to some new music there as well. And while you're at it, there's an interview with Russell which you can find here.
This album has everything I'm looking for in Southern Rock. It's got twin lead guitars (sometimes), it's got Soul (always) with vocals to do the job justice and it's got Funk (frequently). And yes, very good songs too! I'm not going to run them by, one by one. Just be convinced already. Share the wealth and spread the joy. Russell mentioned in an e-mail that in the near future some Jackson Highway music might be released on CD. In the meantime you might want to convert some folks to this great music, so when the CD gets a release it will find an audience it deserves. It sure got me dancin'..

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Marshall Tucker Band - Still Holdin' On (1988)

"Still Holdin' On" was the first album by The Marshall Tucker Band after the break up of the original band. Which means Doug Gray and Jerry Eubanks were the creative force at this stage. Or were they? This album turned out to be a rather average Country Rock affair, with all songs written by outsiders to the band. All very clever, some actually quite good, but not what you'd expect or want from The Marshall Tucker Band. And obviously especially Toy Caldwell is sorely missed here. Toy would release his 1992 debut album, which is much closer to what I was looking for. The Marshall Tucker Band, however, would more than make up for this unremarkable album on its follow up, the excellent "Southern Spirit".
What we have here is an adequate, inoffensive record aimed at the Country market. The band featured lots of crack session players, so the picking is all good. It's one of their lesser known albums, and not without reason. But Doug Gray is still a real fine singer, and for that alone worth the price of admission (yeah, yeah...). This record has been discontinued by its manufacturer. So maybe, once you get the feel of it...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ouray - Motor Dream (1981)

"Motor Dream" was Ouray's second and final album. It's a completely different world compared to "Chrome On The Range". That album was much earthier and closer to genuine Southern Rock. On "Motor Dream" the band sounded like they were looking for a hit. Especially on the first few tracks, it all sounds very commercial. A bit like 38 Special. But after some tracks you can definitely hear some trademark Southern Rock guitar licks, vocal harmonies reminding of The Outlaws, and overall some very good songs. Yes, I enjoyed this album very much.
When I posted the first album, I mentioned I hardly knew anything about the band. Luckily I was given some very useful information about the band in a comment by a reader. That reader was Bo Pirrucello, steel guitarist and singer of Ouray. This is was he wrote:
"Stumbled across this blog. I am Bo from Ouray. We were all from Chicago, played around the midwest and east for about 7 or 8 years. Some of us are still active, Ted is still playing with various bands in the area. Hap and I have been collaborating off and on for the past 15 years or so, Hap is based in Colorado now. I have a new band called Cal-Sag, booking is starting. Frank and Too Tall are retired from playing, but Frank has a thriving entertainment law practice. Motor Dream is a little different, but has some really good moments. Thanks for the positive words. Check out my guitar company Former partner with Lakland basses, we are launching these new guitars this summer."
Well, thank you, Bo! And now that you're all updated on the band's current whereabouts, it's time to enjoy Ouray's Motor Dream...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Larry Jon Wilson - Let Me Sing My Song To You (1976)

"Let Me Sing My Song To You" is Larry Jon Wilson's second album. In style, it's very similar to his debut album "New Beginnings". But I like this album even better. I think it's a brilliant Outlaw Country record. And regardless of your preferences, I think you should really give this a try.
On this album Larry Jon picks up the tempo a little and frequently gets funky. Best song, to my ears, is the song "Sheldon Churchyard", which any Southern Rock fan would find a find. Again, the songs are all top notch, the playing impeccable and the singing spellbinding. It's hard to believe that no label has yet arranged to get his four albums from the 70's released on CD. My advice is to get this, share it with all your friends, and maybe then someone will notice? Anyway, this is a good vinyl rip. Let the man sing his songs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Commercial break: The Radiators

No, it's not that I'm going commercial. But I do like to draw some attention to the new album by The Radiators, "The Lost Southlake Sessions". I got sent a copy and I'm allowed to give you one song of the album. And I like it.
The Radiators are from New Orleans, Louisiana. And they sound like it too. If, besides Southern Rock, you dig the NOLA vibe, you should definitely give this a try. These guys have been around since 1978 and still play with the same line-up. They released several albums, mostly on small labels. According to Allmusic "Law Of The Fish", their only major label release (and thus, the band probably having access to all the right means), is the one to have.
This is New Orleans Rock alright. An influence which can be heard in Little Feat music as well. And of course on any Anders Osborne album.
The Radiators are a little more straightforward than that though. No triple guitar lead attacks here, but splendid easygoing Rock. You can here some Southern Rock in here, but also Border Rock, like Los Lobos. Live, they tend to do some jamming. They offer lots of live shows as downloads. Check that out as well. On this album the songs are compact songs. I recommend this album. But you be the judge. Check out this, the song: "Honey From The Bee"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tim Brooks & The Alien Sharecroppers - Live! (2001)

Well, some good news about Tim Brooks. On his MySpace page there's mention of a new album coming out this year. Hell yeah! So, all the more reason to spoil you with yet another scorching live set of Tim Brooks & The Alien Sharecroppers. I have no info on where this was recorded, only the year 2001 is given. I prefer this show over the previous, which I also love. But this better represents his own work. It's a soundboard recording (also out there in lossless format, so don't pollute the lossless community with this version! & thanks Traink) and it sounds pretty good. Classic Southern Rock, great picking, wonderful! And it's a long show, but well worth hearing out. Some Allman Brothers songs, a cover of ZZ Top's "Shiek" and a version of "Jesse", which has only had a release on the compilation album "Peach State Blues".
I just know you will enjoy this smoking live show. I know I did. So, kick back and let the music carry you away. But be sure to keep a look out for Tim's new album coming soon. And go buy it! No cover charge...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don Bowman - Funny Way To Make An Album (1966)

This is Don Bowman's third album, and it's one of my favorites. This features the hilarious "The Other Ringo","I Get The Feeling We're Through","Boll Weevil Air Lines" and "Things Are Looking Up", the latter being one of the funniest drunk songs. And Don's in touch with his feminine side too, assuming the role of sister on "Dear Sister". But I don't think I should talk too much about Don, he should be laughed at. So, let the funny man do the slurring...

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Randall Hall Band - The Randall Hall Band (2004)

The Randall Hall Band features Randall Hall (duh), formerly of the Allen Collins Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Jimmy Dougherty, previously singer for both Alias and the Allen Collins Band. This 2004 release is musically very reminiscent (not in the last place due to Jimmy's singing) to the Allen Collins Band. It's an EP which has three really nice songs on it. "Trust" and "Square Peg" were new songs at the time this came out. The last, "Just Trouble", was the opening song of the Allen Collins Band album, "Here, There & Back" (now out of print). This time without the horns but still very good. The Randall Hall Band website is still online, but it hasn't been updated since 2004. Which is too bad, cause this is the kind of music I would love to have more of. Good stuff.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dickey Betts - Night (1981)

"Night" is the unreleased solo album of Dickey Betts. For those of you familiar with The Allman Brothers Band's "Dreams" box set, you may already know Dickey was working on a record with Nashville producer Chips Moman. This album also features the track "Nancy", though this is a completely different version. I doubt this has anything to do with Chips Moman yet, but I could be wrong.
I have to warn you, this is not a great sounding copy. I don't know the source, but it's probably ripped from a poor quality cassette tape. The whole album is drenched in a heavy hiss. I couldn't remove it without wrecking the sound, so I left it as it was. I would love to have a better version, but I don't know if it's circulating. Any official release would be a definite improvement. Because of the quality, I'd say this is only interesting for raving mad Betts fans and Southern Rock scholars.
Musically this is very close to straight-up Country (Betts-style). I quite like the songs. This also has the song "Whole Lotta Memories", which can be found, in a live version, on the BHLT Geneva recording. Thanks to Mawos for providing the music. Great Southern.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Russell Smith - The Boy Next Door (1984)

"The Boy Next Door" is Russell Smith's second solo album. Apparently it was only released in Europe. It has not been released on CD, though eight tracks wound up on the "Sunday Best" compilation, and one more on the "Russell Smith" debut CD release (actually two: the song "Hesitation" was included on both). So, if you have those two already, the only song you're getting this for, is "Nobody's Angel".
Musically this fits right in with the Nashville thing going on at that time. While the Amazing Rhythm Aces albums were quite adventurous, Russell on his own usually sticks to the Country side of affairs. Still, he excels at it too. And tracks like "Hesitation" or "Who's Makin' Love" wouldn't seem out of place on a album like The Aces' "How The Hell Do You Spell Rhythm". "Nobody's Angel" is a Country ballad. Nothing spectacular, but quite alright. Well alright.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Joe Sun - Out Of Your Mind (1979)

When this album was released in 1979, Johnny Cash wrote the liner notes, stating that "Joe Sun is the greatest new talent I've heard in twenty years". And it's not hard to figure why Johnny felt that way. Joe Sun has been making some the greatest Outlaw Country in the past twenty years. So, if you haven't already embraced Joe and his music, now's the time.
On this album he sounds a little more laid back than on his "Storms Of Life" album. But the songs are once again beautifully selected and played. Ideal for some late-night reminiscing. And Joe has a great voice, which would make even a mediocre song stand out. Don't hold back, get yours today! Unless you're out of your mind.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Betts, Hall, Leavell & Trucks - 1983 - Geneva , NY

Betts, Hall, Leavell & Trucks features Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks (Allman Bros), Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie) and Chuck Leavell (Allman Bros & Sea Level). Unlike most Southern Rock bands in the early 80's, this band did not venture into AOR territory. Instead, this is fairly classic Southern Rock, with songs of The Allman Brothers, and Jimmy Hall and Dickey Betts solo cuts. It's a soundboard recording of a gig they played in Geneva, NY, on Jimmy's birthday. The sound is a little thin at the start, but it gets better with the second song. Vocal duties are being shared by both Dickey and Jimmy. I don't know if they ever recorded any studio demos, but this is very nice anyway. The kind of band you'd love to hear on a Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam. I'm guessing you'll enjoy hearing this lot keep playing Southern Rock like the 80's never happened. Yay!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Nick Laseter & Southern Edge - We Can Stick Together (1972)

Well, this is surely an obscurity for you. I did my best to find any information on Nick Laseter at all, but all I found was a private profile on MySpace. This album was sent to me by my French Connection, but neither Jacques nor Luc know anything about the artist or the record. I have included the scans of the cover. It's very worn out, but I can at least give you the names of the people playing:
Nick Laseter: vocals & lead guitar, Ralph Snyder: piano, Larry Davis: drums, Randy Tomlinson; rhyhtm guitar, Nathan Roberts: bass and Juanita Laseter: backing vocals. It was produced by Charlie Bryant, and it does not mention any year of release. But it's definitely early 70's.
As for the music, this has more to with Elvis-like Country(Rock) than Southern Rock. But this will probably find a home with some of y'all. And the rip is pretty decent. Thanks to Jacques and Luc for music.
Edit 4/8/2009: On August 3 I received a message frome none other than Nick Laseter himself. Here's what he had to say:
"Well this was my first album released in 72,I have writtin hundreds of songs since.I still play (not as much as I use to) but I cant tell you how exited I was to see someone take intrest in my music from so long ago.I have new music listed on digital rodeo and sound click with a band called january rose.As far as my influences,I grew up in southern Louisiana and have performed with folks like B.B. King Fats domino and a barrage of old south pickers.I came from the age of Skynard and the Allman brothers.Again thank you for your intrest.It makes an old man feel good to know someone listened...Nick"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gregg Allman - The Inside Track (1990)

Something different this time. It's Gregg Allman visiting on the A&E show "The Inside Track", hosted by Graham Nash. Apparently (I'm not from the US, so what do I know) this was/is a TV show, and on this one Gregg makes an appearance. This is just the audio, which is fine by me. Some amusing interviews (like the foot shooting party) and some entertaining acoustic performances. He plays "Melissa", "These Days", "Come And Go Blues" and "Midnight Rider". Nothing you haven't heard before, but very pleasing all the same. He's being accompanied by Craig Doerge. If anyone has the video, please, let me know. But I bet you will want this.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Black Rose - Black Rose (1980)

Black Rose was a band which featured Cher on vocals and her then boyfriend Les Dudek on guitar and vocals. Their only release was this 1980 album for Casablanca Records. If you read about this album and were expecting an album similar to "Allman & Woman - Two The Hard Way", then you're in for a surprise. Not sure it'll be a pleasant one, though. This album has none of the flash of the Les Dudek albums. Instead it's a Power Pop exercise on which Cher gets to rock out some. It's not bad, just not terribly good either. I prefer the soulful sounds of her album with Gregg anytime. But since I'm a sucker for Les Dudek, I just had to complete my collection. So, are there any good Les Dudek songs on here? Hmm, sort of. Actually, he only gets to sing lead vocals on one track, a duet called "You Know It". I like that song, and it would fit nicely as a bonus track on his "Gypsy Ride" album. So, for that you should get this. Tricky move to start an album with a song entitled "Never Should've Started". For completists only..

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Cate Brothers Band - Live (1998)

I had in mind to post the Cate Brothers CD "Arkansas Soul Siblings", only to find that it was re-released under a new title, "Born To Wander". I just ordered it, and it's a very good remaster. The recordings on those albums are pre-dating their Asylum releases. The music has some more Rhythm & Blues influences than their later work, but already you hear their distinctive sound. I still wonder how these recordings relate to The Cates Gang output, chronologically. They must've been recorded around the same time, I think. Very much recommended.
Nearly 30 years later they released "Live", and it just goes to show that sometimes the finest musicians will continue to release the finest music. Lots of classics played wonderfully on this live set. "Time Is A Thief", "In One Eye And Out The Other", "Union Man" and a very nice version of Tony Joe White's "Steamy Windows". You may know the songs already, but this is quite a nice addition to the Cate Brothers collection. I would love to see all their albums re-released (Wounded Bird, are you listening?). For now, let's get funky...