Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thunder - Thunder (1974)

Thanks to Tom for the rip, and this one's for Bigfootkit. And for me. And for you... I only knew about this Thunder because Bigfootkit pointed out the connection with John Nitzinger. Not a lot I could find about this album on the web, but Martin Popoff fills in the gaps.
Thunder was a duo, consisting of David Alley and Whitey Thomas. For this, their only release, they got a little help from some friends. Like Bloodrock's Randy Reeder, guitarist Bugs Henderson and, of course, John Nitzinger. John playing guitar, bass and writing about half the album.
Well, it's a fun record for sure. Very 70's, Southern funky boogie rock. I love the keyboards, funny sounds and all, and some fierce guitar picking. The vocals at times have a chipmunk quality to them, but that's alright. And the songs work just nicely for me. There's a song called King's X on the album, written by Nitzinger. Was that where the band King's X got their name from? Anyway, enjoy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Various Artists - Alive Down South (1997)

Hey, hey! It's hoe down time, y'all! After blue Monday, this is just what the doctor ordered. Tell your mama you won't be home tonight, grab a beer and get right!
Though this album was released in 1997 (and is out of print already), these recordings are mostly from 1977 and 1978. Some of these songs are from the Rebel Jam, so there is some overlap with the "Hotels, Motels & Road Shows" album. But the overlap is limited to three songs (Stillwater (2) & The Allman Bros (1, though not the same version)). And there are 13 songs in total on this album.
Yep, it's the same idea here. Some of hottest live performances by some of the greatest Southern Rock bands. All mixed together as though this was a non-stop Southern Rock show, so it never slows down with any fade-outs and -ins. And you get the whole spectrum of Southern Rock. From the Fusion Rock of Dixie Dregs to the Southern Soul of Wet Willie to classic Southern Rock of Stillwater and The Allmans. A big thank you to Luc for this one!
If you don't dig this, you must be gay. And if you do, you sure will be. Like a tidal wave of goodness...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Duke Williams & The Extremes - Fantastic Fedora (1974)

"Fantastic Fedora" is the second and last (?) album by Capricorn recordings artists Duke Williams & The Extremes. Like the first album, it's another steamroller. Though this time around the band assumed more of an identity of their own. Less of a Soul cover band, more rocking out this time. And man, they're on fire here.
This is not the rip that's already circulating, though it's pretty close in quality. The other rip had some clicks/scratches that I could not repair, so I redid it myself. I listen to my music with in-ear plugs, so you'll notice any click and pop.
Back to the music, well, what can I say. This is classic stuff. I love the songs, I love the playing, I love the production and I love the vocals. Does anybody have any additional information on Duke Williams? Did they/he really only release two albums? I find that hard to believe, but I couldn't find any information about any follow-ups. I promise, if you don't know this, you won't be disappointed. So just grab it. Quick!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mylon LeFevre - Weak At The Knees (1977)

Another fine album by Mylon LeFevre. Don't let that cover art scare you off. This is really a great album. Kinda funny, I was looking for some information about this period of Mylon's career. But any biography only mentions his album with Alvin Lee and then skips straight to the part about the Gideon bible and how Mylon turned to Gospel back in the 80's. Well, he's made three albums you can't seem to find any background information on, this being the first. The others I have too and will post in the near future.
I remember finding this album in a cut-out bin. I was amazed at the cover, but found it somehow intriguing. I was just getting into Outlaw Country, and this album had some familiar names on it. Excellent playing on the album throughout and some cool songs. Reggie Young is playing guitar here, amongst others. It was the first time I heard Mylon and I was immediately in love with his voice. The music on this album is somewhat in the vein of some early recordings by Louisiana's Le Roux. So, if you like that, give this a spin. I know I still play this frequently after 20 years owning it. It features a magnificent version of Bob Dylan's "Girl From The North Country". And I'm still crazy about the ballad "Second Hand Lady", in which his voice goes from a Johnny Cash-like narration and then smoothly switches to his beautiful singing voice. Have faith...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Traveler - Lost In The Late Late Show (1978)

This is a remarkable release. Cause Traveler was not the actual name of this band. They were originally called Denim and had released one album prior to this on the Epic label. But when they signed to ABC records, the powers that be at ABC figured the band should assume a name less Country sounding. So Traveler it became, and the band put out this album on ABC. Three months later ABC folded and the band were stuck with an album and a name nobody knew. And after this release they spent a long time trying to regain what they lost. Eventually they resumed the name Denim and released a couple more albums. And to this day they're still around.
"Lost In The Late Late Show" is really quite a nice album. Typical 70's Rock with a definite Southern signature. Not too heavy, lots of harmony vocals, but not too slick either. Though nothing spectacular, I think this album is surprisingly pleasant. Decent guitars and vocals, and some strong songs. I couldn't tell how this compares to any Denim release, since I don't know any of their albums. Do I recommend it? Why yes, I do. Most charming.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Lenny LeBlanc - Lenny LeBlanc (1976)

After having paid his dues as a session musician and background singer, and before he went on to become a mainstay in the Christian music scene, Lenny LeBlanc had a bit of a solo career as a Southern Rock artist. Or maybe that should rather be described as Southern Country Pop? Lenny was never one to rock out. Instead, this leans towards the sound of the Eagles and the likes. Lots of harmony vocals, smooth melodies, but backed by some great musicians (featuring Pete Carr).
It's really, really, really laid back, but your mama won't mind. Get your baby in the mood with some red wine and Lenny LeBlanc, and you just might get lucky.
This album had a re-release in 1977, then entitled "Hound Dog Man". The song "Hound Dog Man" was a minor hit and a tribute to Elvis. Lenny also recorded "Sharing The Night Together" for this album, which was a hit for Dr. Hook in 1978. Soporific...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Stillwater - Stillwater (1977)

I hope you don't mind me posting something of a classic every now and then. The "Hotels, Motels & Road Shows had me listening to Stillwater again. And I love it.
Stillwater were another Capricorn recording band, releasing some of the finer Southern Rock in the 70's. They had somewhat of a (semi-) hit with the song Mind Bender. A moving love story about a Fender and a Gibson. Ha! Pretty cool, though. They had a Jimmy Hall, which was not Wet Willie's. And the movie "Almost Famous" is about another band called Stillwater. But any sound minded Southern Rock fan needs this Stillwater.
After two releases on the Capricorn album they broke up. But in 1998 they reunited for one album, called "Runnin' Free".
For now, check out a great interview here and listen to the debut of Stillwater. They even incorporated some Prog Rock on the track "Universal Fool". Cool...