Porch Ghouls (2003) Bluff City Ruckus (LP) Roman/Columbia (CK 87033)

Porch Ghouls

Bluff City Ruckus

2003

Roman/Columbia (CK 87033)

Produced by Greg Cartwright and the Porch Ghouls

Executive producer: Joe Perry


Debut (and apparently only) long player from this Florida/Memphis outfit, garage blues and back-porch electric Memphis stomp, letting the Tennessee hillbilly come through without sounding like rockabilly.  Unlike their previous EP of mostly covers, all these songs are credited to band members.

It’s not a great album, just a good one, noteworthy 21st Century garage, produced by Greg Cartwright (Oblivions, Reigning Sound), released on Joe Perry’s Roman label . (The Aerosmith / Reigning Sound connection!)

— winch

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The Breaks (1983) S/T (LP) RCA 4675

The Breaks

The Breaks

1983

RCA 4675

produced by Vini Poncia

***

img_9172

This one’s only for fans with a huge penchant for 80s pop-rock fronted by female vocalists, but if that’s your bag, this set is worth a listen, features an LA new-wave sound with the band’s Tennessee roots showing–especially in Susanne’s vocals. This Memphis outfit was fronted by the Taylor siblings, Susanne Jerome the cutie on vocals (and made into a new wave southern belle sexpot on the “She Wants You” video.)

img_9172-1

 

 

 

While she has her right hand firmly planted in the pocket of her cute 80s skirt on the album sleeve, she appears to be flipping the bird. That about says it all, LA trying to make her into a 80s pop tart, but this Memphis girl showing her roots with that twang and attitude in her voice, that grin on her face and that middle finger firmly planted in her pocket.

 

 

Most of the songs are written by the Taylor siblings, the set produced by Vini Poncia (Ringo’s songwriting partner through most of the 70s).  Apparently the rest of the band is made up of siblings, Rob and Russ Caudill providing the rhythm section, and keyboardist Tom Ward showing up on song credits with a D. Ward.  The first side stays upbeat and fairly cute and enjoyable with an 80s power-pop sound, and then after the opener “Wishy Washy,” Side Two–for better or worse depending on the listener–sticks with the ballads and sounds like the party’s over.  And likely the party was over because this is apparently the only album by this outfit.

— winch (author of

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Bobby Whitlock (LP) S/T (1972) Dunhill 50121

Bobby Whitlock
Bobby Whitlock

Dunhill 50121 (USA)

1972
recommended ****
 

Memphis man Whitlock had a long history of involvement in his hometown before joining Derek & the Dominoes and contributing his songwriting talents to six songs on that set.  While the band on this solo album remains uncredited on the sleeve, this set is sometimes referred to as the last Derek & the Dominoes album as all members (except perhaps Allman) play on this record.  While that tag is often used to promote this album, I’d say the comment is misleading.  This is clearly Whitlock’s album.

 

Whitlock writes or cowrites the entire set (only sharing credits on two cuts, one with Don Nix, the other with Bonnie Bramlett), and this set is actually better than the overhyped and overblown sound of Derek & the Dominoes.  While some buyers might be brought to this set because Clapton plays on it, this album is better than any of Clapton’s albums.  

 



Bands such as the Allman Brothers and The Band might be influences, but it could be that all three bands were simply influenced by similar sources.  And unlike albums by those other two bands, this clearly comes from Tennessee, with all the sounds of that state coming through various cuts.  The sounds clearly came from the past but also influenced bands down the road, were part of a bridge from the dirt roads of the South to the paths that bands would follow in the decades to come.


 
This isn’t a great album; it’s just a good one.
— winch

Love (1968) Forever Changes LP

Love
Forever Changes

Elektra 4013
Produced by Arthur Lee & Bruce Botnick

Recommended ****

1968
Released January 1968 (February 1969 in UK) reached #152 (#24 in UK)

After a period of recluse in Lee’s Hollywood mansion, Love surfaced with this third album.  Many consider this their finest.

The album opens with MacLean’s classic “Alone Again Or,” the rest of the collection focusing on the contributions of Arthur Lee.  While the Lee numbers have a different feel, the songs seem an extension of the melancholy established with MacLean’s opener, slowly going from an electric rock sound to a more fragile folk delivery, the songs filled with acoustic guitars, arrangements and the imagery of Lee’s lyrics. 

(Lee with the broken vase–symbolism that fits the set.  That one’s Lee, right?) 

The music moves between moods and tempos, like following a man at the edge of a party as he wanders to the basement and out the cellar door, roaming the streets, a loner/observer internalizing all that’s going down. Through all the changes, the set remains as cohesive as any from this era, and it certainly captures this time and place like no other album.  While it clearly comes out of the Summer of Love and the years that lead up to it, this also recognizes the beginning of the end, and in retrospect foreshadows the years and happenings to come.

(The vase is cracked open to expose the roots; the flowers are dry and wilted.)


This album stands nicely next to the first drug-fueled offerings of Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd, but while V.U. came from the art houses and cold streets of New York, and Floyd from the music and foggy climate of London, Lee appears to have been raised on the various music styles of Los Angeles, from the Byrds to the Beach Boys, from the soundtracks of Hollywood to the Latin American rhythms of East LA.  With Bruce Botnick helping with the final production, the influences of Herb Alpert and Burt Bacharach show up in the arrangements.  Of course, this album delivers its own unique sound–a sound that influenced countless acts.


While the music is not perhaps overtly psychedelic, it’s about as psychedelic as it gets, and fans of that genre should give this a close listen, turn out the lights and light up a number.  There had never been an album like thisbefore, and while many have tried, there has never been one like this since.  
It’s essential for fans of late 60s music. 

— winch (author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s and the two-part novel Junk Like That)

http://www.eight-track.com/Eight_Track_Publishing.php

 


 

 

Love (band) Essential

Essential LOVE

(90 Minute Tape)

 

“My Little Red Book” (Bacharach/David)
“Can’t Explain” (Lee/Echols/Fleckenstein)
“A Message to Pretty” (Arthur Lee)
“My Flash On You” (Lee)
“Emotions” (Lee)
“You I’ll Be Following” (Lee)
“Gazing” (Lee)
“Hey Joe” (Valenti)
“Signed D.C.” (Lee)
Love       Elektra 4001     July 1966

cool Love cover:
“Signed D.C.”/”Hey Joe”
Dead Moon (Clackamas, Oregon)  Live Evil  1990

 

“Revelation” (Lee, MacLean, Echols, Forssi)
“Stephanie Knows Who” (Lee)
“Orange Skies” (MacLean)
“Que Vida!” (Lee)
“Seven & Seven Is” (Lee)
“The Castle” (Lee)
“She Comes in Colors” (Lee)
Da Capo 
     Elektra 4005     February 1967

 

 

“Alone Again Or” (MacLean)
“A House is Not a Motel” (Lee)
“The Daily Planet” (Lee)
“Maybe the People Would Be The Times or Between
 Clark and Hilldale” (Lee)
“Live and Let Live” (Lee)
“Bummer in the Summer” (Lee)
Forever Changes      Elektra 4013     January 1968

 

 

cool Love cover:
“Alone Again Or”
UFO (London)  Light’s Out  1977  

 

 

compiled by Winch (author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s and the two-part novel Junk Like That)

http://www.eight-track.com/Eight_Track_Publishing.php

Product Details

 

Oblivians Show

oblivians
memphis tennessee

in the early 1990s when the press and the public’s pockets were focused on the sob-ass spawn of seattle, like so many times in history, the rawhide real deal was going down in middle america, the motor city and memphis tapping their pasts and forging the future, the g o r i e s  and the oblivians for example.  the musicians are still at it with various outfits, and oblivians reformed for a killer new album and a kick tour to kick it off, kicking the asses of all the copycats that surfaced in their wake.  here’s a few grainy shots from the slippery floor of their pdx show, 7-11-2013, blood, sweat, and beers.


— winch

(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)

Product Details

http://www.eight-track.com/kalamazoo.html