Friday, 27 August 2010

Joshua - Joshua

JOSHUA - Joshua (Key Records KL 014. UK. 1973)

I really do wish i could tell you more about this album, but even the record label state on the liner notes they know nothing of this band! The band were a three piece from Texas, who entered Athena Studios in Texas, laid down this monstrous Acid/Fuzz album & then promptly dissapeared into the desert to pray and were never heard from again. The drums were added later in one long session. By the time Key Records in the UK released the album the band were no more.

A solid album that is right up there in the Acid & Fuzz guitar stakes. The guitar work is incredible, it just screams in from nowhere & just lifts the whole album. Most tracks are uptempo & the guitarist takes every opportunity possible to crank up the Acid & Fuzz licks.
If there was to be any criticism of the album, the songs do veer towards Country Psych, sometimes sounding a little like a harder edged, three piece Eagles. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not always to my taste.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Meic Stevens - Mwg

MEIC STEVENS - Mwg EP (Wren Records WRE 1073)

How could i resist adding some Meic Stevens to the Acid Folk section?

No longer what you could describe as an obscure artist, Meic has been an important & well loved figure in Wales for many decades. Not only did he produce some of the most wonderful music to come out of Wales, he was also the inspiration, catalyst & vehicle for many Welsh bands to make & release music.

Mwg is my favourite Meic Stevens ep & this track is the most "Acid" from this particular release. I do belive that Meic Stevens is best listened to in Welsh. Although most people will not understand the words, there is an interplay between the Welsh language, Meics' delivery & the interplay with his guitar playing that just isn't present on Outlander, his English language album.

There is plenty of information on Meic on the web & there are also two compilation albums that bring together all his EP tracks including this one.

Beau - Creation

BEAU - Creation LP (Dandelion DAN 8006)

Certainly not the most obscure offering on this blog, but it is in my mind a criminally overlooked album. Infact it's inclusion is more to do with the fact that this is still an affordable album, something that will probably change as time goes by. There is plenty of information on Beau to be found on the web.

It was Beau's second album for John Peel's Dandellion label, released in 1971. What sets this apart from his first album is the fact that Tractor are his backing band for this outing.

It's a strange mix; the Folk songs of a renowned folk songwriter with the twisted rock musings of Tractor. For me the song where this works best is "Silence Returns", which has a undercurrent of darkness that is just about kept in check until the end when all hell breaks loose through an incredible acid guitar piece until the song eventually fades out.

It's nowhere near as "Acid" as the first Comus album for example, but as a whole the album does work, although sometimes it does feel like the mix isn't quite right. Some songs are more traditional, some far more twisted.

All in all though, still an album i would recommend picking up before prices inevitably rise.

Sharon People - Inside Looking Out LP

SHARON PEOPLE - Inside looking out LP (Indigo Sound Studios IRS 5510)

Here's the first Xian Psych/Folk album i bought. Got a call about it last year from a fellow digger. I'd never heard of it, but he assured me that i'd like it & if not that i'd easily move it on.

Well, the first few needle drops were anything but positive, but once again, it's the arrangements that set this apart from other LP's. Once i'd sat down to listen in it's entirity it made complete sense to me. Maybe that's the thing with private pressings, once you "get it"; the strange arrangements, the throwing out of the rule book; then you're hooked.

I could never hope to explain the music here. The only thing that came to mind was a Cabaret band playing songs written by Ennio Morricone, arranged by Bryan MacLeane, with Sterling Morrisson guesting on guitar. OK, so that's a bit strong, but how do you compare this to anything else you've ever heard?

Side one is much stronger than side two here, there's a passion throughout side one that seems to be lacking on the other side.

I've come up gainst a complete brick wall on researching this album. It's on the Indigo Sound Studios label out of the Republic of Ireland with a very home made looking sleeve. I originally thought this was a subsiduary of EMI, but i now think it was probably recorded in the EMI studio in the Republic of Ireland that happened to be called Indigo Sound Studios.

I've tried researching the members' names as well, but once again drew a complete blank. Two other diggers i've spoken too said they owned or had seen the Sharon People album, but it seems they are talking about a second album i've seen listed on a Japanese website which appears to be some kind of a stage play using some of the songs & music from this album.

If anyone can throw some light on this album please get in touch, as i am particulary obsessed by it. Who wouldn't be, you just need to hear the passion in the vocals of I'm in Love......if that's what being in love with Jesus Christ is all about, well......