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Many Fantastic Colors

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Main » 2011 » August » 20
Vee Jay's 1964 album John Lee Hooker on Campus is titled to sound like a live recording but it isn't. As part of the Collectables Vee Jay reissue campaign, these 12 tracks originally tried to capitalize on Hooker's emergence on the coffeehouse/college tours he was involved in at the time.

This is an electric album that contains excellent material from Hooker, even though the occasional background singers get in the way, attempting to modernize his gritty blues with a smoother soul sound. (by Al Campbell)

Electric blues from John Lee Hooker released in the mid 60s on Vee Jay – all Hooker originals that are riveting and soul shaking as you could hope for.

Although it's titled John Lee Hooker On Campus, it's more a reflecting of the time than a literal description of what you'll hear here – the folk and blues revival was in full swing and holding college audiences rapt, but it's not a concert recording, but Hooker in excellent 60s form.
(by dusty groove)

John Lee Hooker (guitar, vocals)

a bunch of unknown studio musicians

01. I´m Leaving (Hooker) 2.12
02. Love Is A Burning Thing (Hooker) 2.39
03. Birmingham Blues (Hooker) 2.54
04. I Want To Shout (Hooker) 2.25
05. Don´t Look Back (Hooker/Robinson/White) 2.56
06. I Want To Hug You (Hooker/Ling) 2.29
07. Poor Me (Hooker) 2.41
08. I Want To Ramble (Hooker) 3.11
09. Half A Stranger (Sykes) 4.24
10. My Grinding Mill (Hooker) 3.11
11. Bottle Up And Go (Hooker) 2.25
12. One Way Tichet (Hooker) 3.27

ARMU 0052
Views: 1224 | Added by: Riffmaster | Date: 2011-08-20 | Comments (4)

Usually, the first comeback album is a pretext for a comeback tour; the second comeback album is the real test. And Van Der Graaf Generator passed that test, although fans may argue about that for years. Vintage VDGG this is not (and if you're still hoping for that, well, it won't happen). And, of course, Trisector sounds closer to a Peter Hammill solo album than any VDGG LP from the '70s. After all, drummer Guy Evans has released very few albums (let alone under his own name) during the interim, and organist Hugh Banton has released only one, while Hammill chugged out three dozens or so. Consequently, yes, Hammill's songwriting dominates and follows the style of songwriting found on his 2000s albums. And the presence of sax player David Jackson (who left after the Present tour) would have changed very little of that. In this incarnation of the band, Banton's organ is the dominating instrument, either in complex intricate patterns or in soft accompaniment mode. Present, the group's first comeback album, was a slim offering: six songs for a total duration of 35 minutes, and only two of these songs found their way into the live set list. Trisector is more generous (nine songs over 53 minutes) and offers higher highs and lower lows. "The Hurlyburly" is a strange inclusion and definitely a questionable choice for an opener. The 21st century surf music feel of this instrumental might have worked as comic relief toward the middle mark of the album, or even as a coda. Placed at the forefront, it indisposes. The half-point has been given instead to "Drop Dead," an unremarkable rocker that would have felt weak even on one of Hammill's rock albums. Those two low points aside, Trisector stands as a strong achievement. "Interference Patterns" and "All That Before" have the complexity and rawness you'd expect from this one-of-a-kind prog rock band. "Lifetime" and "Only in a Whisper" are definitely softer than anything VDGG used to do in the '70s, but they are artistically successful songs. The latter, a delicate two-chord affair, provides a slow-boiling showcase for Hammill's poignant voice and Evans' subtle drumming. The 12-minute "Over the Hill" is almost as epic as the group's music used to be; it will easily become a live favorite. And "(We Are) Not Here" brings the album to a strong though unusual close, with its driving and repetitive motif and its stacked vocals. The songs on Trisector have a tendency to run a bit too long (the ending of "The Final Reel" and "Only in a Whisper," the middle section in "All That Before"), but the songwriting is strong, the attitude is sincere, and the group manages to present a convincing and viable version of Van Der Graaf Generator for the 21st century. The fact that most of the album's songs have been included in the group's 2008 live set shows how much more committed the musicians are to this material, compared to the "let's-give-this-thing-a-try" approach found on Present. (by François Couture)

Hugh Banton (organ, bass)
Guy Evans (drums, percussion)
Peter Hammill (guitar, piano, vocals)

01. The Hurlyburly (Banton/Evans/Hammill) 4,38
02. Interference Patterns (Banton/Evans/Hammill) 3.52
03. The Final Reel (Banton/Evans/Hammill) 5.49
04. Lifetime (Hammill) 4.47
05. Drop Dead (Banton/Evans/Hammill) 4.52
06. Only In A Whisper (Banton/Evans/Hammill) 6.44
07. All That Before (Banton/Evans/Hammill) 6.29
08. Over The Hill (Banton/Evans/Hammill) 12.29
09. (We Are) Not Here (Banton/Evans/Hammill) 4.04

Views: 900 | Added by: Riffmaster | Date: 2011-08-20 | Comments (0)

Carole of Harvest, like Emtidi, Gurnemanz, Ougenweide and Hoelderlin, showed that a psychedelic prog folk scene did exist in Germany in the 70s, but their sole effort came along when the other bands had shifted or disappeared, and therefore the genre was of less interest by then. In fact, one might even ask what the point was. Most of the ideas presented here were long past their expiry date both in their native land and elsewhere, often sounding more like early than late 70s. The instrumentation is sparse and samey, featuring mostly heavily strummed electric or amplified acoustic guitars, with the keys secondary.

Where Carole of Harvest departs from all of the above in a favourable sense is the superb vocals of Beate Krause, who is reminiscent of the singers in the aforementioned groups but also of Jacquie MacShee and Annie Haslam. It is expressive and is in perfect sync with the accompaniment, no more so than in the finale of the original LP, "Try a LIttle Bit", 10 minutes of prog folk bliss with more bite than Pentangle or Renaissance could ever hope to muster. Ms Krause's wordless acompaniment that follows the main part of the song is masterfully expressive and harmonious, and the synthesizers, and perhaps mellotron at the finale, provide just the right augmentation to the basic sound. While drums are present on this track, they are kept low and are not needed, so potent is the basic groove. That is the general trend in the album.

The other major highlight is the longest song, the 16 minute anti war reflection called "Put on Your Nightcap" that opens the album with tentative guitar reflections, unrushed and pregnant with promise, accompanied by the sounds of the wind. The structure and manner of buildup is very progressive, with time given to express the lyrical themes and some impressive synthesizer and lead guitar work, mostly played at a slow pace reflecting the ponderous nature of the theme. A second part is slightly more upbeat with more emphasis on the rhythm, and some prominent bass work.

The other three original songs from the LP are all shorter and decent but not quite to 5 star level, being like more concise but less interesting versions of the two monsters. The bonus material is live, shows a more straightforward rocking side of the band, and sounds quite out of place given the strength and style of the other material.

While the harvest reaped is superficially similar to the usual autumn fare, the album manages to carve a feast for the prog fan with an interest in electric folk, as well as an indelible niche among the many German one-offs in existence. Highly recommended.(by kenethlevine)

Robert Högn (drums)
Beate Krause (vocals)
Jürgen Kolb (keyboards)
Axel Schmierer (guitar)
Heinz Reinschlüssel (bass)

01. Put On Your Nightcap (Schmierer) 16.02
02. You And Me
(Schmierer) 2.31
03. Somewhere At The End Of The Rainbow
(Schmierer) 6.26
04. Treary Eyes
(Schmierer) 4.17
05. Try A Little Bit
(Schmierer) 9.59
06. River
(Schmierer) 2.36
07. Sweet Heroin
(Schmierer) 7.04
08. Brickstone
(Schmierer) 1.14

Views: 947 | Added by: Riffmaster | Date: 2011-08-20 | Comments (0)

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