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.

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

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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

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.

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"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.

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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"
What you need is a visit in your heart
From The Man

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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.

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