Thursday, August 17, 2017

Grace Knight - Stormy Weather (1991)

(Australian 1976 - Present)
Grace Knight is well known as the lead singer of the 1980's Aussie band Eurogliders, for her performance in the ABC show 'Come In Spinner' and her latter career as a jazz diva.
'Come In Spinner' was a big hit on television and the soundtrack album was an even bigger success for the ABC. I was now apparently a ja2zy torch singer and bookings were coming in for me as opposed to Eurogliders. I was now a solo performer and was performing songs from 'Come In Spinner' with a 12-piece band, including a horn section. I swapped my wrestling boots for high heels and my chamois leather Indian top for an evening gown. My extensions were removed and my hair was brushed for the first time in years.
Eurogliders hadn't yet officially split, but we were well on the road of no return. Not many gigs and no money.

With the success of 'Come In Spinner', I would've been mad not to release a similar album immediately. So I went to Eurogliders' record company, Sony Music, and asked if they were interested in doing another album of classics. They were.
My second solo album, Stormy Weather, shot up the jazz charts and one week saw Spinner and Stormy Weather sitting at first and fifth position. Two different records through two different companies.
When it came to singing the classics, performing live was quite a different story, I was used to dancing onstage, but these songs were quite different, they didn't require a manic ballerina to express the wonderful stories. Clear diction seemed more of a prerequisite.

On The Set Of Spinners
Ray Alldridge, an absolute legend in jazz circles, became my music director. Ray was well aware of my pop background and instead of turning his nose up at my audacity for swapping genres, like many people on the jazz circuit did, he encouraged and lead me into each song, playing notes that would help me pitch, smiling at me when I was due to sing, or nodding his head off to the side to tell me not to sing.
Ray is a complete gentleman who plays piano like a deranged demon or a heartbroken angel, depending on what the song demands. I'm sure that without Ray I would not have had such an enduring career.

It frightened me to hear my voice for the first time singing these songs, there was no electronic drum kit, no bass player with his amp turned to maximum volume, no lead guitarist playing so loudly you'd feel the wax dripping across your eardrum trying to protect the sensitive innards, and no backing singers giving you a hand. With these jazz musicians the whole was more important than the individual and I was part of the whole. I fell in love with their sounds—beautiful, rich, wooden, hollow sounds from the double bass, wire brushes kissing tight snare-drum skins and brushing across metal cymbals ever so gently. I could hear every single pluck and whhhhoosh, and of course Ray's playing which I counted on as my safety net. If I happened to fall, Ray would spring me back into place by simply playing a progression of notes that left me nowhere else to go musically.

It took a fair few gigs before I stopped shouting 'SO-PHIS-TI-CA-TED LA-Dy into the microphone and learned that I could actually sing these songs, they didn't require belting, not like Euros, where I could barely speak until midway through the next day 'cause my throat was so rasped from shouting the night before.
At first I used to get nervous working at The Basement in Sydney. The venue was well known to jazz musicians and aficionados alike. It was so small there was nowhere to hide mistakes and fuck ups. The audience crammed in, many seated directly under my nostrils. One night when we played there I wore a particularly short black velvet dress, the stage at The Basement is small and I had little room to move given it was filled with musicians. One of my favourite musicians at the time was a young double bass player named Todd Logan. Such a cutie was Todd, he was barely old enough to drink but he played his beautiful double bass with the heart and soul of a man three times his age and experience.

I was in the dressing room with my manager, Diana, drawing a mouth with gnashing teeth on a strip of white gaffer tape. 'Oh shit, what are you up to now, Grace?'
'Di is this in the right place?'
I patted the gnarly gaffer tape teeth onto my panty-hosed, G-strung arse and swung around to look in the mirror. It looked suitably awful.
'Grace, y'can't. The audience, what'll they think?'
'They won't see, but keep yer eye on Todd.'
'Please don't?'
We pumped out the last set and I said our goodnight's and turned around to acknowledge the band, they all took a bow and as Todd came up from his, I took mine directly in front of him. I bent forward I flicked the back of my dress up exposing my arse and gnarly teeth taped across my crack. I heard a stumble behind me and turned to see Todd on the floor cradling his double bass, the band and audience wondered what on earth had promoted this fall—as I'd imagined, the only person who saw this in the packed Basement was Todd!

Reviews of gigs and of my albums were glowing, reviewers seemed to think it was a marvel a singer could cross over genres from pop to jazz. But the only difference I could discern between the two was space.
It wasn't me who called myself a 'jazz singer', it was a tag placed on me. I'm a singer who happens to work with jazz musicians, but I'm no Ella Fitzgerald, no Sarah Vaughan and I'm certainly no Cleo Laine, I just love singing. I was selling large quantities of albums classified in the 'jazz' section, but having never listened to or studied jazz, I felt a bit like a fraud that would surely one day be caught out. I just pretended it didn't bother me, though inside it did and I was petrified. [extract from Grace Knight: Pink Suit For A Blue Day, New Holland Books, 2010. p212-216]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from CD and includes full album artwork. Although not officially released on vinyl which is somewhat strange for the time period, this album was released on cassette (see below), so I figure it pretty much meets this blog's charter and deserves a place here.
If you get a chance to read Grace's biography Pink Suit then I don't think you'll be disappointed - she certainly had a tough childhood and managed to be become a very resilient and determined artist.
01 - Fever    3:39
02 - Drinking Again    3:05
03 - Love Or Leave Me    2:14
04 - Guess Who I Saw Today    2:59
05- Walkin' After Midnight    3:09
06 - That Ole Devil Called Love    3:07
07 - Danny Boy    3:08
08 - Stormy Weather    4:25
09 - Momma He Treats Your Daughter Mean    2:57
10 - Crazy    4:27
11 - Picking Up After You    3:38
12 - You'll Never Know    4:25
13 - God Bless The Child    5:34

Vocals - Grace Knight
Drums - John Morrison, Len Barnard,Doug Gallacher, Gordon Rytmeister
Bass - Craig Scott, Jonathan Zwartz, Gary Holgate, Ed Gaston, Dave Pudney, Alex Hewston
Guitar - Rex Goh
Keyboards - Larry Muhoberac
Percussion - Sunil De Silva 

Grace Knight FLACs Link (259Mb)
Grace Knight MP3 Link (110Mb)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dugites - Selftitled (1980)

(Australian 1978-1984)
Like another Australian band 'The Numbers', label mates 'The Dugites' had formed in 1978, but they were very different in almost every other way. Brian Peacock aided their pursuit of pop success; he'd been managing his own band with Matt Taylor, Western Flyer, in Perth. With industry contacts stretching back fifteen years and his experience road-managing the New Seekers as part of David Joseph's entertainment empire. Peacock was a good fit for a Perth group with some but not all the components for mainstream success. The Dugites' Peter Crosbie visited him in his Fremantle office 'for advice about record deals', Peacock recalls:

They were getting a lot of interest out of the Eastern states... So I started going along to some of their gigs so I could advise them better. And before 1 knew it, I ended up managing them.

I think I knew that it didn't really matter where you came from. And I'd allied that to New Zealand, leaving New Zealand. I realised you could stay wherever you came from and you didn't have to run off and uproot yourself from everything you knew.
The rest of the band were all pretty intelligent people, who I got on well with. They had very firm ideas of what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go, which made it easy to work with them. 1 liked what they wanted to do myself. My management skills, if there were any, always came into play with a genuine admiration for the artist

Songwriter and keyboard player Peter Crosbie had a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Western Australia; during an extended trip to Britain in the mid 1970s, he had also written songs with King Crimsons Peter Sinfield. The group were inspired by their singer Lynda Nutters earlier garage band, which played 60s-girl-group songs such as 'Leader of the Pack'. Nutter and Crosbie were married when the Dugites began, but their personal relationship did not last long into the band's career.

Though the two women projected very differently, Nutter and Annalisse Morrow are both examples of a new type of female 'lead singer' in that they were clearly members of the band, not isolated or separate in some way. Additionally, like many women in bands at this time, Nutter found this to be a necessity. She told Rolling Stone's Jacky Hyams: 'I just don't agree with all that pouting and "look at me" ... I have to be one of the boys - and I'm quite good at that - in order to avoid hassles all the time.'

The Dugites' 'Hit Single' was self-released 'on their first birthday'; for the band it came at 'the end of Phase One', during which they had played in a number of different styles. Their parody of Countdown (see chapter 11) notwithstanding, the satirical 'Hit Single (it declared, for instance, that pop stars never had 'to go to the toilet') marked, for them, the beginning of 'Phase Two!

Deluxe enlisted Bob Andrews, from Graham Parker and the Rumour, to produce the first (self-titled) Dugites album. Fans of the band were pleased to see Andrews rein in Peter Crosbies "overbearing self-indulgence on keyboards, the extended, discoesque jam on the musically excellent 'Gay Guys' is probably a vestigial example of Crosbies druthers. This was the first song played on JJJ-FM after it converted from 2JJ into an FM station in 1984 (en route to the next level, national coverage). In retrospect the song s lyrics come across as nastily bitchy and populated with stereotypes, although at the time it seemed refreshingly sardonic It is also a good example of a male songwriter (Crosbie) utilising a female persona to create a narrator who would, in most peoples minds, critique the 'gay guys' in question not from a position of fear or desire, but from one of platonic affection.

Their first single for Deluxe, the buoyant and fresh 'In Your Car' got the Dugites off to a great start, but it was a success which, for reasons that remain unclear, the band seemed unable to build on. After several singles and two albums for Deluxe, they moved to Mercury, for whom they recorded a third album, Cut the Talking, with English producer Carey Taylor, who went on to assemble Dragon s immensely successful album Body and the Beat and its attendant singles, The Dugites' best song, among many gems, was perhaps the dark, synthesiser-dominated ballad 'Waiting', though the classic pop of Juno and Me' was more typical and highly . The group were Countdown mainstays and perennially good-natured and a solid proposition live; they struggled; nonetheless, to reach commercial sales heights at the time.

By the mid 80s both the Numbers and the Dugites were all but gone and have remained almost forgotten. [extract from DIG: Australian Rock and Pop Music, 1960-85, Verse Chorus Press, 2016 p413-415]

But for some (like myself) they still remain favourites today, and thus one reason for this post. The other is to acknowledge a generous blog follower called Dave who made this rip available to me in FLAC format.   Files were ripped from vinyl, with MP3 (320's) also available here, along with full album artwork and label scans.  If you're into the Dugites, you'll also find there third LP 'Cut The Talking' on this blog as well, and it is my intention to post their 2nd LP 'West Of The World' in the near future.
Track Listing
01 In Your Car
02 South Pacific
03 Mama Didn't Warn Me
04 Goodbye
05 Gay Guys
06 13 Again
07 No God, No Master
08 No One Would Listen
09 Amusing
10 Six Weeks
The Dugites are:
Lynda Nutter – vocals and percussion; 
Gunther Berghofer – guitar and vocals; 
Peter Crosbie – keyboards and vocals; 
Clarence Bailey – Drums and vocals; 
Paul Noonan – bass and vocals.
The Dugites FLAC Link (241Mb)
The Dugites MP3 Link (41Mb)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Led Zeppelin - You Shock Me (1990) Bootleg

(U.K 1968 - 1980)
With Led Zeppelin's career-long tradition of creative independence, it was inevitable that the band and Peter Grant would eventually form their own record label. The band had always fought for total creative control in the studio and the concert stage: their new records were delivered in the form of finished masters and jacket artwork, and the distributor had only to press the discs, print the jackets, promote the product and ship large quantities of every release to record stores in every corner of the globe. The circumstances were ideal for Led Zeppelin to own and operate their own label, but they would undertake the task with characteristic differences.

After taking a fairly long break over the winter of 1973 to 1974, initial steps were begun in the spring for the launching of the Led Zeppelin record label. As soon as the rumours started creaking out in the media, Robert Plant endeavoured to make it clear that the new label would be a legitimate and dedicated rock and roll exercise, with the accent on talent. It wouldn't, he insisted, be some sort of rock star plaything or ego exercise. The label obviously isn't going to be like the "Yeah, we'll have a label, far out heavy trip, man" and just putting yourself on it sort of trip. This label won't be just Led Zeppelin, that's for sure. (Note: The first band to be signed to their new label was Maggie Bell with Bad Company coming in close second).
It's too much effort to do as an ego trip and a waste of time really. I haven't got to build myself up on my own label for Christ sake! "We're going to work with people we've known and liked, and people we will know and will like. It's an outlet for people we admire and want to help. There are so many possible things that we can play around with, people we can help that we haven't been able to help before. People like Roy Harper, who's so good and whose records haven't even been put out in America. People there have yet to discover the genius of the man who set fire to the pavilion at die Blackpool Cricket Ground. 'In trying to come up with a name for the label, we went through the usual ones like Slut and Slag, the ones that twist off your tongue right away - all the names one would normally associate with us on tour in America. But that's not really how we want to be remembered. Better to have something really nice.' Other names that surfaced in creative discussions included Stairway, DeLuxe, Eclipse, Zeppelin and finally, Swan Song, which was arrived at by accident, or an uncommon, for some, twist of fate.
Jimmy Page duly informed New York pro-Led Zeppelin scribe, Lisa Robinson, 'I had a long acoustic guitar instrumental with just sparse vocal sections - die song was about twenty minutes long and the vocal was about six minutes. The whole thing was quite epic really - almost semi-classical I suppose. I'd worked on bits of it and we were recording with the mobile truck and there was no title for it. Someone shouted out, "Swan Song"! The whole thing stopped and we said what a great name for an LP. All the vibes started and suddenly it was out of the LP and on to the record label name.
'I think that Swan Song is a good name for a record label because if you don't have success on Swan Song - well, then, you shouldn't have signed up with them. I'm not personally involved with the business side of it because I'm so involved with the production of the records that I don't have time to worry about it or even take a look at it.'
The actual Swan Song logo was inspired by a painting called 'Evening, Fall of Day' by William Rimner, which is in the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Robert Plant summed it all up, The name "Led Zeppelin" means failure, and "Swan Song" means a last gasp - so why not name our record label that?'
Never one to downplay the chart potential of proven big names, Atlantic's Phil Carson was super-positive right from die start. 'Obviously it will be a winning label,' he smirked. And he was right. [extract from Led Zeppelin - The Definitive Biography, by Richie York. Virgin Books 1993, p 173-4)

Note: The company logo was based on‘Evening’also called The Fall of Day (1869) by painter William Rimmer, featuring a picture of the Greek God 'Apollo'

The Bootleg was ripped to MP3 (320kps) from CD and includes full album artwork along with all photos displayed above. These live recordings are excellent and come from three separate concerts and time periods in Led Zeppelin's career. Recordings originate from Soundboard and professional radio station broadcasts made in 1969, 71 and 75.  It is hard to find good bootleg recordings of Led Zeppelin and this is one of the best I've come across. I have also included an outtake track called "Swan Song" as a bonus track to compliment the cover story above.
Track Listing
01  Rock 'N' Roll / Sick Again  9:28 *
02  Over The Hill And Far Away  6:53 *
03  In My Time Of Dying  11:17 *
04  The Song Remains The Same  5:26 *
05  What Is And What Should Never Be  4:33 **
06  Stairway To Heaven  8:43 **
07  You Shook Me  10:09 ***
08  Whole Lotta Love medley incl. Boogie Chillun, That's Alright Mama, For What It's Worth, Minnesota Blues  10:17 ***
09  Immigrant Song  3:36  ***
10  Swan Song (Bonus Instrumental) 3:33

(*) Dallas Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, Texas Mar. 4 '75 (Superb stereo soundboard)
(**) In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, England Apr. 1 '71 (Superb stereo radio recording)
(***) One Night Stand, Playhouse Theatre, Westminster, London, June 27 '69 (Superb mono radio broadcast) 

Led Zeppelin were:
Robert Plant (Vocals)
Jimmy Page (Guitar)
John Paul Jones (Bass)
John Bohman (Drums)
Led Zeppelin Link (166Mb)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Spike Milligan - The Q5 Piano Tune-Ning Nang Nong (1969)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
One of two comic geniuses nicknamed "Spike" whose work was wildly successful in several mediums -- the other, of course, was Spike Jones -- Spike Milligan was also not the only brilliant comedian to suffer from mental instability. Others included the Americans W.C. Fields and Jonathan Winters, but in all three cases these problems caused only temporary interruptions in the flow of madcap hilarity.

To many listeners, Milligan is best known as part of the triumvirate that headed up the Goons, starring on The Goon Show over the British Broadcasting Corporation for nearly a decade beginning in 1952. Though they couldn't have been more different, George Martin and the Beatles (particularly John Lennon) bonded over their shared love of The Goon Show. The show was written, created by and starred Spike Milligan, a father of British yuks and friend of Martin, who produced records for his group the Goons. As Bruce Pollack's If You Like the Beatles notes, Martin used "ingenious sound effects, engineered through a mastery of echo, reverb, multiple edits and playing with recording tape speeds, all of which became the hallmarks of the Beatles studio repertoire."

Milligan was also a wonderful writer, responsible for a string of books that may seem at first superficial but are quite deep, influencing such later British creative spirits such as Billy Childish and Peter Blegvad. In terms of material to slap on the record or CD player, all of the Milligan writings were recorded by the artist himself as audio books, while the complete history of the Goons on radio has been released more than once in a confusing series of reissues.

Milligan was born in India to a father who was an Irish captain in the British army. Milligan lived in India until he was 15, an experience that later came in quite handy when he and Goons co-star Peter Sellers began the tradition of dueling Bengali accents.

Milligan is often referred to as the godfather of alternative comedy, his activities with and without the Goons paving the way for just about any kind of anarchic comedy, from Monty Python's Flying Circus to South Park. Following the end of The Goon Show, he went on to write and star in the television sketch series entitled Q with skits that didn't have beginning or ends – Terry Jones noted it as a huge influence on Monty Python's Flying Circus. Martin produced Q5's bizarre theme song, which showcased all of his innovative hallmarks.

His nonsense verse, featured on this single "Ning Nang Nong", was voted the top comic poem of 1999.

As a side note, my favourite travel joke is when Spike Milligan was asked by Australian Customs if he had a criminal record he retorted, "I didn't think it was still a prerequisite."
He also sent a condolence letter to Gough Whitlam when he was controversially dismissed by the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, at the climax of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, as shown below.
My personal experience with Spike Milligan stems back to one of his Australian comedy shows in Melbourne in the early 70's, which my father took me to see when I was a young impressionable teenager. Some highlights of the show were when Spike suddenly stopped mid-sentence during a sketch, when an unsuspecting audience member returned to their seat (having just visited the toilets) and asked loudly "Could you hear us in their?", while the embarrassed  person shook their head and quickly sat down, only to have Spike say  "Well, we could all hear you in here !".

After Intermission, a stage hand positioned a couch in the centre of the stage, and then placed a life sized dummy on the seat.  Shortly after, Spike walked on stage and sat next to the dummy, not uttering a word for some minutes. Eventually Spike broke the silence and said "I guess you are all wondering what the Dummy is sitting here for?". "Well he explained, if you don't laugh at my jokes, then I'm going to beat the SHIT out of it".  I must emphasise that swearing in public, particularly on Stage was not heard of in those days and the audience was initially stunned and then broke out in thunderous laughter.  Very, very funny.

So, this month's WOCK on Vinyl is yet another one of those bizarre recordings that can only be described as Weird and Crazy and somewhat Obscure. Recorded from my vinyl single in MP3 (320kps) format. Enjoy

Track Listing
01 - The Q5 Piano Tune
02 - Ning Nang Nong

Spike Milligan Link (12Mb)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Renee Geyer - Blues License (1978)

(Australian 1970-Present)
Renée Geyer is Australia's most respected and successful soul singer, with a recording career of nearly 30 years. Her career began around 1971 in Sydney, when a girlfriend took her along to the rehearsal of friends who were forming a band. Geyer was encouraged to get up and have a sing and was instantly invited to join as singer. Although she was so shy in the beginning she couldn't face the audience, musicians noticed her, and Geyer was invited to join one more experienced band after another until 1971, when she became part of an ambitious jazz fusion group called Sun. Geyer was still just 19 at the time.

After one album (Sun '72), Sun and Geyer parted company; Geyer eventually found herself part of a group called Mother Earth, still with jazz leanings but also incorporating the soul and R&B Geyer loved and excelled at. With Mother Earth, she started touring and was offered a solo recording contract. She insisted that Mother Earth provide the backings on her first album.

For her second album, the cream of Melbourne musicians were assembled for the sessions. Geyer formed such a strong bond with these musicians, but by the time the 'It's a Man's World' album was released and her powerfully provocative version of the James Brown title song was a big hit, Geyer was ready to throw her lot in with those musicians rather than be a solo performer. Her two solo albums so far had been cover versions or sourced songs, apart from the single "Heading in the Right Direction." The Renée Geyer Band wrote the songs for 1975's 'Ready to Deal' album in the studio and toured extensively.

A live album, 'Really.. Really Love You', followed, based on Geyer's building reputation as a powerfully voiced, raunchy performer, to be followed by an even more powerful blues album called 'Blues License' which featured the brilliant guitar virtuoso Kevin Borich (and his Express). That reputation found its way to America and led to an invitation to record an album in Los Angeles with famed Motown producer Frank Wilson. While the 'Movin' Along' album provided another hit at home, in America 'Stares and Whispers' created confusion. R&B stations loved the record, but didn't know what to do when they discovered Geyer was a white Jewish girl from Australia. For the next few years, Geyer bounced between Australia and America, working in Australia and recording two more albums in America. When 1981's So Lucky album presented her with a huge hit with "Say I Love You" both in Australia and New Zealand, it became necessary to put the American dream aside for two years.

In 1983, Geyer returned to base herself in America permanently, still keeping in touch with her Australasian fans with tours. While in America, Geyer became part of a group called Easy Pieces with former members of the Average White Band. But the album took so long to record, by the time it was finished, the group had never performed and were going their separate ways. Geyer spent several years in America doing session work for Sting (the fade vocal on "We'll Be Together"), Neil Diamond, Jackson Browne, and others, touring with Joe Cocker and Chaka Khan and others, and writing songs.

During one foray back to Australia, Geyer was invited to sing the Paul Kelly song "Foggy Highway" for the soundtrack of a TV series based on the seven deadly sins. Kelly was so impressed by Geyer's version, he offered to produce an album and wrote some of the songs, including the title track, which (alongside "It's a Man's Man's World" has become Geyer's signature song, Difficult Woman). The working relationship with Paul Kelly was such a happy and satisfying one, Geyer decided to base herself back in Australia. With Paul Kelly and Joe Camilleri (Jo Jo Zep, Black Sorrows) producing, she recorded 1999's Sweet Life album.

At the end of 1999, Geyer released her frank life story, Confessions of a Difficult Woman through Harper Collins.( © Ed Nimmervoll, All Music Guide )

'Blues License' is the sixth studio album by Australian musician Renée Geyer. The album was recorded in 1978 and then released in 1979, peakeing at number 41 on the Kent Music Report.

During the 1980's and 1990's, Renee Geyer, the great Australian soul/blues/jazz/R&B singer spent a great deal of time between Australia and America performing with artists like Sting, Chaka Kan, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Brown. She also toured Europe with Joe Cocker and Chaka Khan. She really needs to be more widely heard outside the Australasian area. This album is a good starter if you need a demonstration of Renée's talents. It's a great blues/soul album with backing by the Kevin Borich Express on most tracks. In fact, all the musicians featured here are "top notch."

Blues License may be the least recognised Renee Geyer album, but is her most stylish and consistent album. This is a more bluesy album than most of her normal R&B/soul releases, and there quite a few blues standards on this album, which are brilliantly sung in Renée's easily recognisable voice. Renee has the great "knack" of adopting and adapting tunes to make them her own. If you get a chance, source her 1975 'Ready To Deal' or her 1986 'Renee Live at the Basement' albums, as they are standout efforts in my opinion.

Album Review
Renee has often included the occasional blues song on her albums and in her live sets, but this is her only straight blues release.  Even though it consists of predominantly well known blues standards ie. "The Thrill Is Gone", "Dust My Blues", "Stormy Monday" etc Renee proves to be a natural blues wailer with a real feeling for the genre and is capable of stamping her own style on them. And the way she and Kevin's guitar spark off each other is positively electric.

Kevin plays some blistering guitar work on 5 of the 8 tracks & his Express has the brilliant John Annas on drums and bassist Tim Partridge (Co Caine, Mighty Kong & Foreday Riders) who plays on all tracks along with Renee's regular keyboard man Mal Logan.
On the tracks where Borich is absent, he's more than capably replaced by the superb Tim Piper (Chain, Blackfeather) on 2 tracks and Renee Geyer band regular Mark Punch on one. Add Kerrie Biddell's sublime backing vocals on 2 tracks and Sydney blues legend Ron King (Foreday Riders) playing harp on another and what we have here is one killer blues/rock album. (by Micko at Midoztouch)
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my 'near mint' vinyl purchased on release and cared for like it was my youngest child. And what a cover, it was an instant love affair when I saw this album in the racks and then turned it over to see my favourite Aussie guitarist supporting her. Full album artwork and label scans (for both RCA and Mushroom releases) are included. Once you've listened to this album, you'll want to play it again and again, trust me. Thanks to Greg Noakes for the publicity shots of Renee featured in this post (Ooh la la)
Track listing
01 - The Thrill Is Gone – 6.55 (Rick Darnell, Roy Hawkins)
02 - That Did It Babe – 5.15 (Pearl Woods)
03 - Set Me Free – 4.08 (Deadric Malone)
04 - Bellhop Blues – 3.23 (Kevin Borich)
05 - Won't Be Long – 3.48 (J. Leslie McFarland)
06 - Stormy Monday – 6.43 (Aaron "T-Bone" Walker)
07 - Dust My Blues – 3.03 (Elmore James)
08 - Feeling Is Believing – 7.01 (Willie Henderson, Richard Parker)

Renée Geyer: vocals, backing vocals
Mal Logan: keyboards
Bass – Tim Partridge
Drums – John Annus, Steve Hopes

Featuring – Kevin Borich Express 
Guitar – Kevin Borich, Mark Punch
Harp – Ron King (6)
Keyboards – Mal Logan
Vocals – Kerrie Biddell, Renee Geyer

Renee Geyer FLAC Link (253Mb)

Renee Geyer MP3 Link (91Mb) New Link 2/08/2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Stevie Wright - Face The Music (1986)

(Australian 1964 - 1992)
(Stevie Wright - Moving back into easy street)
Stevie Wright tore apart the Australian music scene as front man for the Easybeats in the sixties, It's Wrights voice that punctuates the band's classic material on tunes such as "Friday On My Mind", "Sorry", "Good Times" and a host of others. Originally a writer in the band, he opted to concentrate on his singing while the Harry Vanda - George Young partnership built a head of steam. Later Wright became a solo star when his old Easybeats mate Harry and George penned the "Evie" trilogy. Check out Wrights mannerisms on old footage and you'll see where Bon Scott took his cues. Sadly, much of Wright's life has been dominated by drug addiction. For years, many music fans wondered if he was still alive or just missing in action.

Stevie Wright was only sixteen when he hit it big time with the Easybeats. Now thirty-eight, his voice crackles down the phone line from Sydney. He calls me 'babe' and 'darling' as only the die-hard rock and rollers do even when we broach the subject of heroin addiction.
'I don't like to talk about my addiction,' Stevie says wearily, though he continues, "Basically it was introduced to me during the last week of Jesus Christ Superstar [where Wright played Hess for the show's two-year run. I was at a party and it was given to me in aluminum foil, I accepted it that way. There was no shooting up then. It didn't take long before I was addicted.'

Although Stevie said heroin was never around when he was in the Easybeats ('we didn't even drink then'), he was interested in the drug primarily because of Ray Charles.
'Ray Charles was a very big attraction for me then and I knew he used heroin. It was brilliant, but what I didn't realise was the brilliance was me, not the drug.'

Stevie Wright has had it pretty rough since those Jesus Christ Superstar days.
I have undergone shock treatment, sedation, two years of rehabilitation treatment with Salvation Army, and two lots of six-month treatments at a rehabilitation centre called Westmount. I was dying really. But then someone suggested that I do this gig. They said I could have anyone I wanted to play with.

So some one thousand people packed a small suburban hotel to see a one-off gig. Wright was backed by some of Australia's best musos: guitarists Kevin Borich and Chris Turner played along with former Sherbet bassist Tony Mitchell, drummer Greg Hanson and Peter Kerke on keyboards. And ironically, after twelve and a half years, rock and roll was the one thing that worked for Stevie Wright.
'All the bad things went away. I just flick 'em when I come across them now.'

On the back of his national tour with a top-notch backing band, Stevie Wright will soon be releasing a new solo album called 'Facing The Music' before an Easybeats re-formation tour later this year, which will include all members (including Vanda and Young),
'We already have half a million dollars worth of work for the re-formation said Stevie. 'Now all we have to do is get together and practise so we don't end up with egg on our faces.'
Until then, punters can check out the mix of old Easybeats material with newer numbers in Wright's eclectic set. If you go by Stevie's word, it's something to see.

'I'm totally over the top right now. The crowds love it. I have to play country and western numbers so they'll let me off the stage', he says with a grin. (Extract from Off the Record: 25 Years of Music Street Press edited by Scan Sennett, Simon Groth, 2010 - Original text: Shar Adams, July 1986)
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my CD copy of this album, and have yet to sight a vinyl pressing (see below). Full album artwork and label scans are also included.
It is interesting to read in this 1986 article by Ahar Adams that Stevie was in the throws of releasing a solo album of new material to coincide with his return tour with the Easybeats. In fact, this was not the case and the album was nothing more than a compilation of tracks from his solo LP's 'Hard Road' and 'Back Eyed Bruiser' - no new material here, I'm afraid folks. Nevertheless this compilation is certainly worth having in ya collection. .

Track Listing 
01 - Hard Road
02 - Evie - Part 1 (Let your hair down)
03 - Evie (Evie)
04 - Evie (I'm Losing You)
05 - Life Gets Better
06 - I Got You Good
07 - Didn't Take You Higher
08 - Black Eyed Bruiser
09 - The Loser
10 - Help Help
11 - Guitar Road
12 - My Kind Of Music
13 - You
14 - I've Got The Power

Band Members
Stevie Wright (Vocals)
Time Gaze, Kevin Borich (Guitar)
Ken Firth, Ronnie Peel (Bass)
Warren 'Pig' Morgan (Piano)
Johnny Dick (Drums)

Stevie Wright FLAC Link (354Mb) New Link 18/07/2017
Stevie Wright MP3 Link (141Mb)

Monday, July 10, 2017

GRP - Live In Session (1985)

(U.S - 1985)
On August 14, 1985, a concert of GRP artists was held in the big room at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. It was recorded for both audio and video release. The lineup was Dave Grusin (keyboards), Lee Ritenour (guitar), Dianne Schuur (vocals), Dave Valentin (flute), Ivan Lins (keyboards, vocals), Larry Williams (keyboards, sax), Abraham Laboriel (bass), and Carlos Vega (drums). A special guest, Phil Perry, was brought in to sing on Lee Ritenour's "Countdown" at the end of the show.

This single concert was released to the public in several variations - none of them complete. There was an Vinyl record (see this post) and a CD called "GRP Live in Session" and a video called "GRP Live in Session", with identical covers but different tracks. Then there were two releases under the names "GRP All-Stars Live from the Record Plant" and "Dave Grusin & Lee Ritenour Live at the Record Plant"; those are the two DVD's in this set, and between them, you end up with the whole show, although it's chopped up and resequenced. See the youtube link:

I've been hoping for years that there would be a single release of the entire show, end to end and in original sequence, but I've stopped holding my breath. Still, with this post, you can experience a rare combination of incredible talent, inspired performances, and exquisite sound & video quality.

Album Review
Not just an album exhibiting jazz stars doing their party pieces, “Live In Session” is the culmination of  a lengthy tour crossing both Europe and the United States. Cut at The famous Record Plant in Los Angeles in the summer of 1985, it offers a perfect documentation of what GRP was all about.

Inspired by the highly successful  "Harlequin" album,  the group of GRP headliners had returned from a number of JVC Jazz Festival dates in the US, and then swung across Europe, appearing at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Pori Festival, Montreux and Nice as well.  This was followed by a number of concerts in California - including one at the Hollywood Bowl - before they came into the recording studio together.

“Live In Session” is the documentation of the magical sort of interaction individual  jazz performers can achieve after this much time together - perfect spontaneity matched with perfect understanding of one another.

The record opens with something very exceptional.  For devotees of  the exhilarating “Mountain Dance” (and that must include 100% of Dave Grusin's devoted fans plus many more), here is a chance to hear the composer playing a new interpretation of the piece live.

Flutist Dave Valentin is featured next on the tasty “Oasis,” which is full of the energy and charm he infuses into all his performances, with standout solos by the rest of the group.  Lee Ritenour follows with his guitar tour de force “The Rit Variations” with Larry Williams complementing him at the keyboard.

Diane Schuur, who can reach you at the deepest  places of the heart when singing a love song, really turns on her power to mesmerize when she relates the story of “Reverend Lee.”

What a complete reversal of mood is then achieved when Lee Ritenour picks up the synthaxe to evoke “Dolphin Dreams.” Backed by Larry Williams, this time on saxophone, the atmosphere is at first reverent, then intense, making one almost wonder if these are all real dolphins materialized into humans for the day.

It's back to a Lee Ritenour staple, the Brazilian fusion spellbinder “Rio Funk” next, and the entire group rocks.

The album concludes - obviously leaving you wanting more - with Dave Grusin's theme from the TV series “St. Elsewhere.”  And you ask yourself, how can a piece so obviously crafted to be a functional creation, nevertheless engulf you like the best jazz does.  Performed live, it sparkles all the more.  [extract from Dave Grusin's Website]
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my pristine, near mint vinyl copy and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD. (Note: Some copies exist that are pressed in translucent black vinyl - sadly mine isn't one of these). I've always loved Lee Ritenour's guitar playing, ever since I purchased his Captain Fingers album back in the 70's and have placed him in my top 10 guitar players of all time, along with Al Di Meola and Jan Akkerman.  This is Jazz Fusion at its best - enjoy.
Track Listing  
01  -   Mountain Dance   6:11
02  -   Oasis   7:25
03  -  The Rit Variations   6:24
04  -   Reverend Lee   4:55
05  -   Dolphin Dreams  6:33
06  -   Rio Funk   6:08
07  -   St. Elsewhere   4:25

GRP were:

Electric Guitar, Synthesizer [Synthaxe] – Lee Ritenour
Piano, Keyboards, Synthesizer – Dave GrusinVocals – Diane Schuur
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Drums – Carlos Vega
Flute – Dave Valentin
Keyboards, Tenor Saxophone – Larry Williams
Produced by Lee Ritenour for Captain Fingers Productions

GRP Live In Session Link (100Mb)