Friday, March 25, 2011

Ray Harlowe and Gyp Fox - First Rays (us 1978)

Ray Harlowe and Gyp Fox - First Rays (us 1978)

A record from Minnesota based songwriter Ray Harlowe and his backing group Gyp Fox.
Their sound is heavily influenced by the blues, country-rock, and the Grateful Dead.

* Ray Harlowe - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
* Wayne B. Case - Vocals, Drums
* J.D. Hall - Guitar
* Dan Hall - Piano, Organ, Guitar
* David Mott - Guitar
* Chuck Musselman - Bass
* Alice and Andy - Background Vocals

(side 1)
01. Go Ahead and Dance   (Ray Harlowe) – 4:21
02. Be Away   (Ray Harlowe) – 3:04
03. Earthy Delights   (Ray Harlowe) – 3:34
04. Danny’s Blues   (Ray Harlowe) – 4:47
(side 2)
01. Cryin’ Shame   (Ray Harlowe) – 4:34
02. Run   (Ray Harlowe) – 2:35
03. Some Sweet Day   (Ray Harlowe) – 4:35
04. My Luck Star   (Ray Harlowe) – 2:35
05. Gettin’ Keyed   (Ray Harlowe) – 6:17  

Nice minneapolis private press that sounds earlier then the “78 release date. quite solid laidback psych jamming with a distinct DEAD vibe, nice organs, great guitar, and sweet obscure palm tree cover art. Still pretty underrated, but gaining interest (and rarity) quickly.
 ~ Time-Lag Records.
Enjoyable local stoned hippie barrock Dead groover with peak in druggy epic "Getting Keyed". True psych vibes from "the bar at the end of the world" to quote one of the album's original advocates. Excellent musical value in relation to the low going rate. The weather always keep changing...
 ~ [PL].
One of those albums that’s known almost exlusively in collector’s circles. Despite the 1978 recording date, this is wasted late 60s/early 70s-style guitar rock in a West Coast bag. The guitar playing is pretty good and the songs have hooks buried here and there. An album that makes you feel like you’ve wandered into a swamp by mistake, but the water is warm and comfortable.
 ~ [AM].
A little bit of groovy swamp music for y'all now. "First Rays" by "Ray Harlowe & Gyp Fox" is a mega rarity folks. This is an American Private Pressing released on the Waterwheel Label. It has featured on an unnamed blog's wishlist for as long as I have been blogging. Up until recently I had five out of the nine tracks. Now I got them all. I also posted "Cecilio & Kapono" album "Night Music" first, a while ago that was also on their wishlist. Just coz I dropped my affiliation with them for various reasons, it doesn't mean that I won't give them what they ultimately want. But I will post them before they find them right. And they will still continue to write nasty things about me on their blog. For the rest of you who all know the problems I have had with this blogger, make sure to REALLY enjoy this. Grab this real cool album here. It will grow on you like slowly sinking in quicksand. Enjoy this trip folks.
 ~ by ??mp3.
The first time I heard this Winona, Minnesota-based outfit I mistook them for the mid-1970s Dead.  ‘Course I’d had a couple of beers that evening, but the lazy, stoned communal vibe, the Garcia-styled twangy guitar, the Pulitzer Prize winning lyrics (just kidding), all had me wondering which Dead album I was hearing.  So let that be a warning to any of you expecting to hear a much hyped psych treasure …   Written and produced by namesake singer/guitarist Harlowe, 1978’s “First Ray” was apparently a vanity project released on the band’s own Minneapolis-based Waterwheel imprint.  Judging by these nine tracks, Harlowe and company weren’t the most accomplished band you’ve ever heard. As lead singer Harlowe had a decent, if limited and occasionally out of tune voice (check out his performance on ‘Cryin’ Shame’), while the band (including three guitarists) were competent, if seldom awe inspiring.  In spite of the obvious Dead-influence, the album was actually quite diverse with ‘Earthy Delights’ and ‘Cryin’ Shame’ featuring modestly discordant jazzy feels (maybe it was just too many drugs), ’My Lucky Star’ found the group taking a stab at country-rock, ‘Some Sweet Day’ was an attempt at being commercial (I’m using a broad definition here), and ‘Danny’s Blues’ offered up an entertaining set of stoned bar band blues before degenerating into a weird Allmans-styled jam segment where each member appeared to be playing a different tune. Technically labeling this an aural disaster wouldn’t be that far off.  Ironically, while that description wouldn’t exactly be a ringing endorsement, the band’s earnest, if highly stoned approach tended to grow on you.  After a couple of spins you became acclimated to the set’s low-keyed, amateurish charm.  Imagine your teenager playing in a local band (hopefully not as chemically impaired) and you’ll get a feeling as to what to expect.  Standout track in terms of material, stoned effects and performance was the rocking closer ‘Getting Keyed’.   Bet they were fun to see in a small club…  
Hopefully someone else out there can explain the connection …  I originally thought ‘Gyp Fox’ referred to the name of Harlowe’s backing band.  Turns out it referred to a guitarist by the same name who played on an album entitled “Ghostdance” (Root River Records catalog number 999) with James Dean Hall and Chuck Musselman.  Anyone got the story?
 ~ by RDTEN1 (RYM).

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Ray Harlowe & Gyp Fox - First Rays (us 1978).rar (66.46 MB)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks again and keep it up! :)