Monday, 12 December 2011

The Rogues - Train Kept A-Rolling b/w You Better Look Now (Audition - 1966)

In my world, music is what keeps me spiritual aligned to the material world, through my record collection I vicariously live out my own life turmoils, pleasures and experiences.

One such record which arrived on my door-step this week was an original and mint copy of garage folk-rock opus The Rogues and their 45rpm single Train Kept A-Rolling b/w with the hypnotic and amazing 'You Better Look Now'.

The latter track has been a song in which upon my first listen to it on The Teenage Shutdown compilation series a few years ago, captivated me beyond comprehension.

I thought to myself I must search out this 45, it means so much to me, thankfully the time came and I managed to purchase the 45 at a very good price.

The Rogues hailed from Buffalo, New York and as stated above, created for me one of the finest moments in teenage 60s garage music.

I am unable to find any information in my record collection which gives me details on who The Rogues' as people were, all I know is they were a Buffalo NY group.

The track 'You Better Look Now' has been special to me for nigh on near to 5 years now, I was so exceptionally happy to finally pick up an original 45 of this.

Have a listen to the track below.

What I love about this song, aside from the folk punk genius which is hitting my aural nerve centres, is the lyrical aptness that coincidentally speaks to me on a whole different and relative level, the song is much more substantial moreso now than ever.

What I really dig about this song, is it is an extension to my own vocabulary, in essence it does my talking for me, it conveys the message I need to get out of my soul, it tells the story of me and let's you know how and what I am thinking and feeling at this moment in time.

A 12 string guitar solo, which sends the heart into a frenzy, a bass line which holds the tears back and vocal harmonies which each sound enriched with turmoil and teen-tragedy.

Lyric lines which instantly jump out at me and of which I consider truly genius are -

"Well be that way then!, be stubborn and cruel, admit that you're lost and there'll be no chance for you"

"Be true to your friends, that's what you told me you'd be like, but as it turned out, it was true, you told me a lie, now all that is left, is memory past"

"you say you'll be mine, but there is no telling whose on your mind"

Pure GENIUS... a class song, for broken hearted young men, lost in an abundance of foggy notion and confusion.

The Flip-side of the 45 is a work of art too, possibly the most savage cover version of Train Kept A-Rolling to ever grace tape.

Both sides are easily found on the Teenage Shutdown compilation series.


Paul Messis

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The Girls - My Baby b/w My Love (Capitol 1965)

Recently I purchased a killer girl-garage 45 by Los Angeles' group The Girls, The 45 is a double sided killer 45, featuring teen-drama, garage band frustration and 60s innocence,the slab of wax sounds like a meaner version of The Shangri-las, what was cool with The Girls is that they played their own instruments and in the case of the bands song 'My Baby' with it's menacing 12 string riff, haunting backing vocals and lyrical content in ode of the hip guy in town, the Girls actually wrote their own songs too, the aforementioned song was written by The Band's drummer and lead singer Margaret Sandoval.

The Girls were sisters and formed in 1965, the chicks were in The Sandoval Sisters and The Moonmaids before forming The Girls.

The Girls were -

Rosemary Sandoval - Lead Guitar
Diane Sandoval - Rhythm Guitar
Sylvia Sandoval - Bass Guitar
Margaret Sandoval - Drums & Vocals

The Girl's had two killer singles, the one of which I will share below via Youtube and also the biker anthem Chico's Girl b/w Nightmares, both releases cementing The Girls in garage band history, The Girls played shows in the Southern California regions, but also toured the Far-East and played shows for troops in Vietnam. The Girls looked great too and it's fantastic that their label Capitol invested money in them by making cool promo pics and posters for the group.

I have no idea how popular the Girls' 45's were when they were released but I sure as hell dig them and suggest you dig them too.

Original 45s of these singles are quite common and not too expensive, the reason for this is they were released on a major label and had good distribution and production, however if vinyl isn't your thing, you can find both tracks on recent Girl's From The Garage compilations on cd.

If any of the band members read this blog, please get in touch with me, I'd love to conduct an interview to ask about your time in the 60s and what happened after 1967 for The Girls.

Enjoy the Youtube videos below of both sides of The Girl's debut single My Baby b/w My Love (the videos have additional photographs of the band and this is why I have shared via video rather than mp3 player)

DIG IT.... Paul Messis

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Folklords - Release The Sunshine (1969)

Firstly, upon embarking on this blogpost, I would like to apologise profusely for my lack of blogging, I have been exceptionally busy with a whole heap of things i.e. life, work, pleasure and pain.

I am going to try and blog about music more frequently and get back into a rhythm of things again.

Ok let the blog post begin...

The date is 1969, the place is Canada and the product, is possibly the finest Acid-Folk psych LP ever released; The Folklords' 'Release The Sunshine' album is one of those fine gem's which seemed to have gone astray in the corridors of time and is a work which is quite unlike anything that has been created.

This album has most definitely been a huge influence to me of late, not only has it become the soundtrack to my Autumn and Winter of 2011, it has also inspired my own new sounds even down to the style of the front cover, which I will be ripping off and borrowing heavily from when I shoot my own sleeve.

The Folklords were -

Paul Seip - Vocals and Guitar
Martha Johnson - Vocals and Autoharp
Tom Waschkowski - Bass and Vocals
With Craig Boswell - Drums

The resulting album is a product of beauty, down to the last note, mystical lyricism, psychedelic ambience, mind altering chiming via the sounds of Autoharp, tripped-out melancholy, blurry visioned hope and a wonderful array of rich and textured harmonies, complemented entirely by Martha Johnson who anchors the whole thing.

The album is one of my finds of 2011 and this album has been engrained into my emotional D.N.A and whenever I listen to it, it will remind me of this period of my life.

Please find below three of my favourite songs on the LP.

Jennifer Lee

Forty Second River

Unspoken Love (single version)


Paul Messis

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Bachs - Out Of The Bachs (1968)

The original post of this article was featured in Optical Sounds Fanzine and written by me originally sometime earlier this year, please support the fanzine by visiting their website here...

In the year 1968, five teenagers got together and created what to me is the finest moment in psychedelic garage band history, the band; The Bachs. the album; the groups only recorded output. the aptly titled 'Out Of The Bachs'.

During the year 1968, the hippy era was thankfully dead, the teen-beat era was just a distant memory. 1968 was a musical wasteland and in this mystical of years five teenagers based in Illinois got together and crafted one of the finest albums of their generation.

The band formed in 1966 in the Chicago suburbs of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, the group were together for 3 years, mostly playing school dances and various other shows in their local area. In 1968 they self financed and put-out their LP privately, they managed to put their 'Out Of The Bachs' album out and pressed around 100-150 copies (exact amount is unknown to me and is debatable amongst collectors), this means original copies of this album are exceptionally rare and extremely expensive too.

The album was released as a means for the band to say 'goodbye' to their fans and also to document their time together as a band.

'Out of The Bachs' features twelve stunning, original penned tracks (which during the time was rare, as most albums usually featured a bunch of covers) written by band members Blake Allison and John Peterman.

The Bachs were -

Blake Allison - Bass Guitar and Lead Vocals.
John Peterman - Guitar and Lead Vocals
John Babicz - Drums and Percussion
Mike De Have - Rhythm Guitar
Ben Harrison - Lead Guitar

'Out of The Bachs' is one of if not, my all time favourite album within the garage genre, the songs fit the zeitgeist of the times and for me are a perfect insight into the mindset of a group of young men in 60s America.

The album opens with the triumphant and angst-ridden 'You're Mine', this is a song I totally relate to, the song opens with the desperate plea "You Better Listen To My Advice, He Don't Treat You Very Nice"... the song continues in a frantic manner akin to Arthur Lee and Love's debut; killer jangle and punk attitude.

Following on from this initial teen-punk explosion, the mood takes a turn and what proceeds is the wonderful moody monster which is the track 'Pleasure Of Your Company' which features haunting harmonies, mood altering melodies and heartfelt desperation in the lyrics, Innocent love torn confusion commited to tape.

The album then tail spins into a psychedelic summer vibe with the stoned hay-fever like evocations of 'Free-Fall; which sends the mind into a dizzy ecstasy that makes the listener comfortably happy and numb at the same time.

'I See Her' turns the speed up a notch of which The Bachs turn the jangle button up and sing a track about one of those 'girls' that tend to ignore guy's like us (me and the Bachs), amazing guitar riffs and yet again harmonies which take the breath away.

Side 1 of the LP finishes on what can only be described as the best ending to a vinyl side ever!!!, side one ends with two amazing moody garage classics. 'My Independence Day' which is my favourite song on the album, features an amazing chord progression, fantastic instrumentation and an amazing dual vocal shared between Peterman and Allison, to top it off there is interweaving harmonies about finding and losing love. the song is so full of teen confusion and subsequently is one of my personal favourite songs recorded.

The final track on Side 2 is 'Minister To A Mind Disease', which breaks into the paranoia of psychedelia, here we have a track so rooted in being 'freaked out' that just by listening to it you'll suffer some anxiety induced panic attack, You only need to hear the ear-piercing fuzztone guitar solo to know that, that will clear any cobwebs that your mind holds within..."It's 6 o'Clock now and it's time to eat and rest your feet, of course you're hungry cos you eat to live or is it live to eat??"... mind boggling yet strangely wise??

Just before I begin to talk about Side 2, I want to remind the reader that this album was recorded by teenagers, yep!!! that's correct - young kids.

Their album during it's release was criminally unknown and I guess even to this day it is still considered an 'unknown' release even amongst garage and psych heads and collectors - which in my opinion is a real crying shame.

Side 2 kicks off with the total folk-psych dreaminess of 'Tables of Grass Fields' which sends the listener into more happy stoned vibes, imagine scenes of cornfields and walking hand in hand with that special girl (or guy) that you love in the summer sunshine is shining down and the world is perfect, well then this is the song for you, if you have that mindset currently going around your brain.

The next track 'Show Me That You Want To Go Home' is strangely contemporary sounding, again the lyrics point at love lost and the confusion of young love. Proceeding is the morbid 'Sitting' which instantly kicks in with minor chord 12 string jangle, this song is the tale of isolation, yearning and teenaged confusion and questioning.

This type of songwriting and subject matter and the total conviction with which The Bachs relay the message is a huge influence to me and my own music and well my life too. With regards to The Bachs you can't help but believe they lived the life they sung about - they were truly Outcasts amongst their peers and society, this is something I relate to, cos it's how I feel too.

After the misery-fest of the song above we drift back into hazy psychedelia with the track 'Nevermore' which is one of the stand-out tracks on the album for me, What I love is the call and response  in the vocals and I totally dig the desperation in the lyrics... The song moves along like a snake, amazing 12 string guitar jangle and extravagant songwriting craft and to top it off a ferocious fuzztone guitar solo that would have blown any of the guitar gods away!

The theme of teenage innocence continues on the next track 'Answer to Yesterday' which is a mournful heartbreak of a song and acts almost like an apology in record format, song such as this act as an anecdote to anyone who has lost someone in their lives.... these Guys REALLY understood the deal with things.

The album ends on a momentous high with the proto-grunge track 'I'm A Little Boy', the song is fantastically psychedelic and also highly mesmerising, I would classify this one of the finest endings to an album ever (just like side 1 ended hip too) and is a great swan-song for the band to end their short-lived career's on.

The Bach's were a tremendous group, their stand alone album is one of the hallmarks of 60s music for me and is also in my opinion one of the BEST albums out there.

Blake Allison and John Peterman were genius songwriters who wrote fantastic music and lyrics, the created the sound track soundtrack to my early to mid twenties and I still completely adore this album.

There have been many reissues of this album which sadly since the 80s have all been mastered wrongly at the wrong speed, Time-Lag records have recently reissued the album properly and it is almost as good as  original copies (apparently???, however it sounds great on my Hi-Fi).

Please find below 5 tracks from the album posted below - Enjoy!!!

You're Mine

My Independence Day

Minister To A Mind Disease


I'm A Little Boy


Paul Messis

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Exchequers - Is There Some Girl b/w Green Sleeves (Boom - 1965)

The Exchequers were a hip group operating out of La Crosse, Wisconsin, they cut one fabulous 45 rpm single in 1965.

After recent discussion's with a friend about the greatness of the band's A-side 'Is There Some Girl?' I was compelled to purchase the 45 myself, it arrived in the post this week and has flipped my lid. I guess tracks like 'Is There Some Girl' are the epitome of teen garage of the mid 60s for me, I dunno why, but tracks like this are divine and perfect.

For me, this cut is the most compelling example of teenage and adolescent frustration, I pretty much am feeling this record for real in my life - it's desperate. As human beings, all we ever want to be, is loved and the constant questioning of  whether the right person is out there for me is currently constantly on my mind due to circumstances which feature both good and bad aspects of things in my personal realm - the most obvious search has led me to this song by The Exchequers, tracks like this ease the somewhat tragic notions that there may not actually be the right girl for me out there, however I do live in hope... as did The Exchequers when they recorded this their lone single, released on the Boom label in 1965.

The B-side is a pretty nifty cover version of 'Greensleeves' done in the typical countrified surf vibe that the mid-west produced in the early to mid 60s, making the product a pretty cool piece of plastic, what's cooler is it was pressed on a really hip GREEN vinyl.

I apologise for my lack of blogging, this is due to  being extremely busy in all manner of things in my life of late.... today has been the only time I have been able to sit down and write a blog for a while, it's not the greatest of posts and for that I am sorry but I hope at least you can dig the song.

I have no information in regards to The Exchequers other than they came from La Crosse, Wisconsin and made one of my favourite garage sides... If any of the members see this post, it would be great to get band members names to at least honour you as people and a group.

Enjoy the song below.



Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Washington Phillips - The Forefather of Gospel

George 'Washington' Phillips who was born in Texas in 1880 is considered to be one of the founding fathers of making Black Gospel music and is also a highly influential name in early American made music, despite the 'Great Depression' and also being a black skinned man in 1920s era America, Washington Phillips had records released and was quite popular, especially amongst the Negro-buying public in a vastly sectarian society.

From December 1927 through to 1929, Washington Phillips recorded sixteen beautifully crafted Gospel songs, each of which is wonderful in their own individual ways and I would consider these pieces of music to be some of the most emotionally honest and heart touching records to ever grace vinyl.

Washington Phillips is unique in so much that he is possibly the only musician in the world to popularise an unusual zither-like instrument called a Dulceola, the heavenly sound of the Dulceola accompanies Phillips' social commentary and preaching and albeit making the message of his songs felt and understood more powerfully.

I got into Washington Phillips a good four or five years ago, when I went through a period of about 6 months wherby I was listening to nothing but old blues, jazz, ragtime, gospel, prison and field songs (basically nothing past the year 1937). I've always considered Washington Phillips and Reverend Blind Gary Davis to be reign supreme and I feel they are the greatest of the gospel penned singer-songwriters of the day, I have a strong emotional tie to this music and feel that it quite possibly may be the most beautiful music on earth.

All of Washington Phillips' releases have been compiled on various cd's, they are well worth owning, as they are a great insight into the human endeavour.

Below the picture of Washington Phillip's in 1950 are my favourite tracks of his, please honour this great musician and buy his records.

Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There 

Lift Him Up That's All

Denomination Blues Part 1

I Am Born To Preach The Gospel



Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Sinner Strong - Don't Knock It b/w Nobody But Me (Serock - 1962)

This harmonica wailing slice of raw R&B was sung by the best 'white' soul voice in the form of a young fairly unknown singer called Joyce Harris, who relocated from New Orleans to Los Angles and cut this wailing piece of Rhythm and Blues in 1962.

I'd rank this 45 as a phenomenal piece early Soul music, the raw energy of the band and those amazing off-kilter vocals sung by Joyce Harris with such verve and passion, that this white girl could've sung any black girl off the stage, she was that impressive on this cut.

The A-side is the mover and shaker of this piece of wax, the B-side is more of a traditional gospel influenced R&B track, not my cup of tea, I kind of find over use of 'strings, horns and brass' in black music from 1957-68 a total yawn fest and song killer, with R&B and Soul Music, I only really dig the arse-shaking, head kicking, primitive songs with the odd exceptions to the former.

I first heard the A-side 'Don't Knock It' on the Crypt Records compilation 'T-Bird Party' years ago and decided to track down the 45, I've had the 45 in my collection for a couple of years now, It would be a good floor-filler if played at a Soul event, I feel.... I personally don't really know what 45s are considered cool today amongst that crowd of people??

Recently I was looking through my Soul, Doo-Wop and R&B records drawer and was amazed I even had a bunch of the stuff I had, this record was one of the one's I had totally forgotten about and thus I now feel somewhat compelled to write a blog about it and share the killer side.

Anyway dig the grooves.

Paul Messis