Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Bigroup - Big Hammer (uk 1971)

The Bigroup - Big Hammer (uk 1971)

Label: Peer International Library Limited - PIL 9009
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: UK
Released: 1971
Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul

A1 Big Hammer
Written-By – Johnny Scott
A2 Annapurna
Written-By – Johnny Scott
A3 Devil's Stronghold
Written-By – Johnny Scott
A4 Rolling
Written-By – Johnny Scott
A5 Beat Norm
Written-By – Johnny Scott
B1 Heavy Lift
Written-By – Johnny Scott
B2 What's Coming?
Written-By – Johnny Scott
B3 Blow-Suck Blues
Written-By – Anthony King
B4 Gentle Swell
Written-By – Johnny Scott
B5 Bombilation
Written-By – Johnny Scott

 Peer International Library Limited was a London based production music library company that was established in the late 1960s by Dennis Berry (aka Peter Dennis). It was closely affiliated with the other library company Southern, - which was also run by Dennis Berry. They often shared releases and that’s why certain titles appear on both Peer and Southern catalogue. This album here, called Big hammer, was credited to a band called The Bigroup, but without a doubt it was some studio musicians group with a made up name for the album. And it was also released on Southern.
The opening track “Big hammer” starts the album strongly. It’s a banging midtempo psych funk track with a hint of oriental vibe every now and then. A stronger oriental vibe comes with the next one, a downtempo sitar and flute driven mellow groover “Anna purna”. I’m not exactly sure if it actually is a sitar but sounds a lot of it. After the dramatic “Devil’s stronghold”, comes “Rolling”. It starts promisingly with a nice break, but then turns into a melancholic midtempo groover. Next up are two quite heavy downtempo psych funk tracks called “Beat norm” and “Heavy lift”. After them comes one of the best tracks on the album, “What’s coming”. It’s a strong upbeat track with heavy breakbeat drums and some wailing melodies on top. Then there’s again two mellow but psych heavy tracks called “Blow-suck blues” and “Gentle swell” before we get to the last track, “Bombilation”. “Bombilation” is a great midtempo organ driven psych funk groover with some electric guitar work (I’m still not a fan of those) and banging beats. All the songs are relatively long for a library record, all the tracks except one are over three minutes what makes it a more pleasant one to listen.
 ~ Written by Mista Tibbz.

In today's culture, one might presume the Bigroup to be some sort of avant garde transsexual troupe. But most likely in 1971, it stood for nothing more than "The Big Group". Then again, they do have a composition entitled 'Blow-Suck Blues', so perhaps they were ahead of their time after all? Musically, however, they sound more like a late 60s group than a pioneering cutting edge post-Swinging London progressive band from 1971. "Big Hammer" is, in effect - if not actually the case - an all instrumental film library psychedelic album with copious flute, sitar, surf guitar, and roller rink organ. There's not much in the way of compositional development, which would be typical of the incidental film music genre. Somewhat similar to the groups like Blue Phantom, Hungry Wolf, The Underground Set, Psycheground Group, or Fourth Sensation. Great stuff!
 ~ ashratom (RYM).

 Underrated jazz prog from 1971. “Big Hammer” is an all instrumental exploitation psych album features fuzz and wah-wah guitar, organ, flute and sitar. Musically, they sound more like a late 60s group than a pioneering cutting edge post-Swimming London progressive band from 1971.
Big Hammer has been much in demand by progressive rock collectors and one listen to it will tell why – pretty much every track is a killer !
 ~ Doug Larson Imports.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Afton - First Day of Summer (us 1977)

Afton - First Day of Summer (us 1977)

Formed: Danville, VA, United States

* Dane "Do Do" Williams (electric guitar, vocals),
* Jim Dooley (keyboards, saxophone, acoustic guitar, vocals),
* Donnie Hughes (bass, vocals),
* Robert Campbell (drums, percussion, vocals),
* Skipper (percussion, vocals),
* Jeff K. Baldwin (string arrangements, keyboards, vocals),
* Mike Ketchum (acoustic guitar, vocals),
* Boo - (banjo).

Label: Lark Records - LRLP 2288
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1977
Genre: Rock
Style: country rock, southern rock

A1 Life Light 5:42
A2 Sara 3:58
A3 Henry 5:13
A4 Summer Night 2:00
B1 Hitchhiking 4:45
B2 Younger Days 3:17
B3 Never Trust a Woman 5:15
B4 On the Way 3:33
Total length: 33:43

From Danville, VA, Afton was Dane Williams - elec. gtr, vocals / Jim Dooley - keyboards, sax, acoust. gtr. / Donnie Hughs - bass, vocals / Robert Campbell - drums, vocals / Skipper - percussion, vocals / Jeff Baldwin - keyboards, arrangements, vocals / Mike Ketchum - acoust. gtr, vocals / Boo - banjo. Their sole album was released in 1977, and is very rare nowadays. It is fairly polished, country flavored southern rock, with a slick vocalist and great guitar on most cuts. Their sound is often reminiscent of The Charlie Daniels Band (if they were any good), and containing elements of Lynard Skynard and Molly Hatchet as well. This record [i]is[i] good, and consistently so. Finally reissued to boot!
~ tymeshifter (rym) Oct 24 2009 3.50 stars.

Download Link:
Afton - First Day of Summer (us 1977)

Friday, May 26, 2017

David Campbell - Sun Wheel (Can 1972) [Indian folk]

David Campbell - Sun Wheel (Can 1972) [indian folk]

Born: Guyana
Currently: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Label: Decca - SKL 5139
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album 
Country: UK
Released: 1972
Genre: Folk, World, & Country

A1 Sun Wheel
A2 Time Was When
A3 Cabacaburi Children
A4 Skies Of Scotland
A5 Mary Mahone
A6 Circle Town
B1 The Sun Is My Leader
B2 Cloud Amber Lady
B3 Red Man
B4 Magdalena
B5 Lover
B6 North From The Sun

Campbell, the son of Steven and Umbelita Campbell (nee Da Silva), was born in the Pomeroon. His father, an Arawak, was a trail-blazing politician who fought for Amerindian land rights. A fight that is still not yet resolved.

The creative arts were part of the family of eight siblings.

His sister, the late Stephanie Correia, was a nationally and internationally acclaimed artist and potter. His father played the violin and the accordion. "His mother, who was Portuguese, encouraged him and his siblings to sing harmonies together, and with her beautiful voice, passed on to him the deep feeling found in Portuguese fados."

He prefers to use terms like 'organic' and 'vocation' to describe his body of work which includes, in addition to the 1600 songs, more than 20 albums of his songs, 5 books of poetry and song lyrics, and many paintings.

Campbell was educated in Guyana, at Martindale RC School, on the Pomeroon River, and St Stanislaus College.

He migrated during the early 1960s to Canada. After about three years, he went to the UK, where he started his professional musical journey.

It all started at a folk concert at the Royal Albert Hall. An executive of Transatlantic Records, "the UK's pioneering folk label," heard his performance and offered him a contract. This led to several albums and the start of a television career.

Among the albums recorded during this period were: David Campbell (1969) and Youngblood (circa late 1960s) with Transatlantic, Mr Everywhere (1969) and Sun Wheel (1972) with Decca.

One of his first song-writing commissions was for a BBC song documentary series, The Camera and the Song. These songs were recorded, with him singing, accompanied by excellent Caribbean musicians, such as Sterling Bettancourt and Russ Henderson. Campbell has released this music on the CD Immigrant Songs - UK.

An examination of the lyrics of the songs produced during this era reveal a stance that challenges bigotry and dehumanization. It is in this period that Kabakaburi Children was recorded. His music during this period represents a fusion of many influences, including mari mari and calypso.

After three years in the UK, Campbell returned to Canada and settled in Toronto. Here he worked with Native Americans and focused on the challenges they faced across the Americas. He used poetry and music in this project. He released in the early 1970s, the LP Through Arawak Eyes. His poems on the same theme are published in the seminal collection Canada in Us Now.

His No, Not Columbus, from Through Arawak Eyes, became an anthem and was quoted across Native American communities. It was mentioned in 1997 by Chief Peter Guanikeyu Torres, Council Elder of Southern Jersey Taino Tribe of Jatibonuco.

David Campbell now lives in Vancouver, Canada, and has an active life as a singer, writer, television performer and painter. He has written several books of poetry. He has also written about philosophy.

His television work focuses on children, and he has been a regular guest on Canada's Mr Dress Up.

Campbell believes that priority must be given to working with children. The first song he wrote was inspired by the children of the Civil Rights era and was titled Skippin' and Jumpin'.

Campbell started painting in 1994 and has established a reputation for his use of colour and his manifestations of his Arawak heritage. His art graces the covers of his CDs.

Campbell's work has attracted many awards. He has received many commissions from the Canadian government to produce music for the education of Canadian children.

He has developed a loyal international following across races and nationalities. Dr Georges E Sioui, President of the Institute of Indigenous Studies, Canada, wrote:

"...let's listen together to this and other works of a great contemporary Canadian artist, thinker and humanist, our brother David Campbell, an old Arawak soul, speaking and singing to us about how to find, know and honour, the marvellous and powerful being that is in all of us."

David Campbell is the living embodiment of the power of the muses that come from a special place in the geography of Guyana's music. He is an expert wordsmith and clearly one of Guyana's most important lyricists. His ability to draw upon multiple landscapes makes him an inclusive and integrating spirit.

David has been an important ambassador and is a cultural hero. For his inspirational work, he was awarded a Wordsworth McAndrew Award by the Guyana Folk Festival Committee in 2003.
~ Stabroek News
January 1, 2005.

Download Link:
David Campbell - Sun Wheel (Can 1972) [Indian folk]

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Moonlyte - Better Late Than Never (us 1974)

Moonlyte - Better Late Than Never (us 1974)

Label: Astro Records - LP-217
Format: Vinyl, LP 
Country: US
Released: 1974
Genre: Rock, Funk / Soul
Style: Psychedelic

Union City, NJ, United States

* Miguel Fanego (keyboards), 
* José Battle (bass), 
* Pedro Pino (guitar), 
* José Luis Toledo (vocals, percussion), 
* Juan Merida (vocals), 
* Juan Soto (percussion), 
* Edgar González (drums), 
* Frank Garcîa (drums), 
* Juan González (drums), 
* Felix Toledo (drums), 
* Enrique García (drums), 
* Frank Schuckert (saxophone), 
* Manuel Diaz (saxophone), 
* Félix Marrero (saxophone)

Also Known As:
The Moonlytes, The Moonlights, Los Moonlights

A1 Better Late Than Never        3:03
A2 Magic Stencils                6:15
A3 Stone Phase                5:04
A4 Redemption                3:06
A5 In Memory Of One Who Left 6:19
B1 Mr. Amor Se Apago        3:24
B2 Nina                        4:28
B3 Hasta Luego Amor        3:42
B4 Sentado Junto Al Mar        2:50
B5 Funky Epilog

The band had traditional instruments (guitar, bass, drums, organ) plus horn section and latin percussion. On their album, Better Late Than Never released in 1974, they recorded Spanish Boleros (ballads) as well as rock which at the time was very funky

Talent oozes from this group.  Sounds of Santana, Chicago, Pink Floyd, on side 1 and last song of side 2.  Spanish balads on the rest of side 2.  Horn section (sax, trumpet) is supperb, strings (fuzz/wahwah) as well as keyboard (Hammond sound) are "out-a-site", percussion blends in gracefully.  Band is composed of Cuban musicians from North Hudson County (Union City, West New York) in New Jersey, who attended high schools such as Union Hill High School and Emerson High School in Union City, New Jersey. They played many gigs over a 6 year period throughout Norther Jersey (1969 through 1974).  
There's a facebook page (see Fans of Moonlyte or just search for Moonlyte ) where two of it's original members can be seen and a ton of pictures and newspaper clips.
 ~ bongocero (RYM) May 17 2010 5.00 stars

Download Link:
Moonlyte - Better Late Than Never (us 1974)