Saturday, June 18, 2016

Oasis Channel Their Inner Shaggs



In the world of private press records, more often than not "the weirder, the better" is the preferred mantra of die-hard collectors. Well, it doesn't get much weirder than the acoustic gospel duo "Oasis" out of Covina, California. 

Addie Cooke & Tamara Jean put forth their best Shaggs effort on this 1983 private label release entitled "Sounds Alive," and the result is lo-fi xian madness.


The ladies enlist help from a drummer and guitarist, but manage to keep things pretty primitive as evidenced by the title track and "Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday."


Very little information exists on the group, but two copies have sold online for decent money. You can check out more of their songs on my YouTube channel.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Traci Ann Nichols "Dancing In The Light"


Every once in a while, the record gods smile upon thee and bestow something so far out that you can't stop listening to it. In this case it's the totally bonkers track "Satisfaction Guaranteed" from Traci Ann Nichols' completely unknown 1980's rural Christian pop record "Dancing In The Light."


Recently found in a Christian radio station thrift dump, along with Harry Thomas' "Something To Quiet The Lion" (see previous post), Traci's music can only be described as the soundtrack to a lost "Saved By The Bell" episode, the one where the gang all become Christians at a revival somewhere in the deep South.

Listen Music Files - Play Audio -



Recorded at Huff Recording Studio on Route 2 in Forest, Mississippi and produced by David Huff, this LP features some pretty competent arrangements and instrumentation for a rural private release. David's brothers Rayborn and Clayborn get arrangement credits, and all three Huff bros. were the core of late 60's blue-eyed soul band David & The Giants.

Music podcasts - Share Audio -

"In Or Out" is a pretty strong effort, but "Satisfaction Guaranteed" is definitely the jam, and for sure should have been the hit single from this amazing lost-to-history slab of private madness.

I love, love, love Traci's vocals and one day hope to see VHS footage of her performing these songs in a high school gymnasium or church talent show somewhere. Someone please find that and send it to me, please.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sandra Kaye & The New Breed


The Numero Group just released a pretty solid comp of 1970's private American country/bar band music entitled "Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music," and in my opinion Sandra Kaye & The New Breed would have fit perfectly somewhere on the 2xLP set.

I can find little on the group by way of the internet, but according to the semi-confusing liner notes on the back of the "On The Road" LP, Sandra is from Washington state and had been playing with The New Breed for nine years before this record was released sometime in the mid-late 70's.


Sandra's desperate, honey-sweet vocals are front and center on the opening track, a killer cover of Dave Loggins' 1974 hit "Please Come To Boston."

Listen Music Files - Free Audio -


If anything, this record is an exercise in polar opposite vocal stylings, with three SUPER PRIMAL covers featuring an uncredited male lead singer.

The Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Runnin,'" Bachman Turner Overdrive's "Let It Ride," and The Eagles' "Life In The Fast Lane" all get the proper bar band treatment, complete with searing lead guitar and heavy fuzzed-out bass.

Podcast Hosting - Embed Audio -


Free Music - Play Audio -

Embed Music Files - Embed Audio Files -

The production on this release clearly leaves a lot to be desired, but as with most amateur private records of the 60's, 70's, and 80's, only adds to the allure and personality of this wonderful piece of forgotten Americana.

As mentioned before, info on the group is scarce, but I was able to find two archived newspaper mentions of Sandra Kaye & The New Breed; one from The Times-News in Hendersonville, North Carolina announcing the group had signed to "Door Knob Records," and an advertisement in The Power County Press of American Falls, Idaho for a show they were booked to play at the Horseshu Hotel & Casino in Jackpot, Nevada.



Thank you to Alex Rodriguez at Glasshouse Record Store in Pomona, CA for helping me procure this record.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Rodd Keith's LSD Trip Gone Wrong


Rodney Keith Eskelin, aka Rodd Keith, aka Rod Rivers, aka probably a couple hundred other names, was the hardest working man/music virtuoso in the song poem business.

His musical prowess from the late 50's - mid '70's is unmatched, and If you're not familiar with his work, there is a great information resource here, curated by his son (and professional musician) Ellery Eskelin.

Unfortunately, this never-before-seen Keith 45 featuring a song about an LSD trip gone awry, is somewhat autobiographical.

Music File Hosting - Share Audio -

The B-side is an Elvis-style ballad about the state of America in the 70's, that features an extended spoken word intro.

Podcast Hosting - Share Audio -

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Harry Thomas And His Lost Real People Xian Folk/Psych/Country Funk Masterpiece



Harry Thomas
"Something To Quiet The Lion"
Destiny Records
1976

Private Press Xian Madness!!! Courtesy of relatively unknown New Jersey evangelist Harry Thomas, who IMO comes close to being the religious Bob Chance with this unassuming LP on private Corona Del Mar, CA Destiny label.



Found in a stack of random Christian radio station LP's at a SoCal thrift, "Quiet The Lion" is a sublime example of lost Real People music of the 1970's. Recorded in '76 at United Audio Studios in Santa Ana, CA, this bonkers release starts off with the haunting, Fender Rhodes-driven track "Praise The Lord," and only gets better from there.

Upload Music - Upload Audio Files -

"Spirit's Life" is the second track, and sees Harry doing his best Donovan impression. Although very competent, the track is amateur enough in its delivery & instrumentation to make it completely endearing to me.

Music podcasts - Download Audio -

From here, Harry takes a much appreciated turn into the more intense psych realm with "Quiet The Lion" - which is more than likely the only song in human history with the lyric:

A long-haired dude come up to me
He said "Hey there, man"
Now-na-now-na-now
What you need is a visit in your heart
From The Man

Embed Music - Listen Audio Files -

The driving organ, slinking bass lines, and screaming guitar wails of Harry's backing band "The Phoenix Sonshine" are only accented by his now-gruff vocal delivery.




In the same vein, "Noah" from side 2 notches up the intensity with an epic re-telling of the great flood and Noah's plight to build the ark.



Play Music - Listen Audio Files -

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Sound Of San Diego In The 70's



Some really interesting tracks from the few Home Grown comps I've found while out digging in Southern California.

For about a decade - beginning in 1973 - San Diego radio station KGB-FM 101 released an annual compilation LP of local bands and musicians performing original tracks about San Diego and surrounding areas.

The comps were called Home Grown, and profits from sales of the albums were donated to The United Way.


These records are not necessarily rare, but they do possess a certain "real people" quality to the music that in my opinion makes them special.

According to the liner notes, the roster of artists included "are a mix of young and younger, skilled professional and talented amateur..."  They range from shoe salesmen, college students, and auto parts drivers, to working bar bands, music producers, and rock journalism critics.

Home Grown III (1975) even claims to have invented the punk genre of popular music by including "San Diego (You're My Home)" by the conveniently-named band "Punk" (who in my opinion sound more like butt rock and/or cock rock).




Other notable inclusions in the series are two synth-based tracks: "The City In Motion" by Rick Telli sounds like the lost theme to a bad sci-fi film, and "Zoo Song" by Horsefeathers is so outsider-sounding that it lives perfectly somewhere between genius & insanity.




Residing in the "wow, this is actually pretty good instrumentation and vocal delivery" files of Home Grown, are the tracks "Earthquake" by Blue Wind, "Forever Flying" by Mojave, and "Mission Bay" by Mutt.




And, lest we forget these comps came out in the mid-70's, let's have a taste of one of the handful of disco-flavored numbers that were included, in the form of "San Diego, Dance" by People Movers.


There's a really extensive website on all the Home Grown comps here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Overtones Get Freaky Funky


I'm really getting into looking for obscure gospel records at thrift stores and mining them for any remotely interesting tracks.

This release from a group calling themselves The Overtones contains said interesting track in the form of "I Wish You'd All Believe."

Free Music - Upload Audio - I Wish You'd All Believe

Clocking in at just over four minutes, this ominous Judgement Day jam is chock-full of break beats, funky horns, haunting group vocals, and end time Biblical lyrical content.

According to the liner notes The Overtones were a "college-career choir and music department of the First Baptist Church of Pomona, California."



Found: Goodwill Pasadena, CA