A Long Lost Relative of the Crimson King?
Listen – The Gentrys – Stroll On – MP3
I hope the beginning of a New Year finds you well.
The tune I bring you today is something that’s been chilling in my crates for years, and was something of a surprise (and initially disappointment) when I found it.
Back in my garage punk days, the Gentrys loomed semi-large as the group that laid down ‘Keep On Dancing’. Though that record is hardly garage punk, it got lumped into the wider Nuggets-related category due to its chart success. I always dug the tune, and was psyched when I turned up the ‘Keep On Dancing’ LP which did in fact contain some punkish material.
It was during that same period that I turned up the group’s self-titled 1970 LP, from which today’s selection originates. At first glance I figured I had happened upon some psyched-out rarity, and the fact that it was a later rock LP on the Sun label was also intriguing.
Of course, when I got it home (these were after all the pre-portable days) and put needle to wax I discovered that that what I had was in fact fairly standard 1970 hard rock. I was still somewhat pleased with myself for turning up what appeared to be a rarity, but the decided lack of fuzz made me resleeve the disc and put it away.
Silly me, because as the years went on, my hair got longer and my taste for Grand Funk-ery grew, the Festival Circuit sounds of this particular LP got more attractive.
It includes some interesting covers, including Neil Young’s ‘Cinnamon Girl’, Mountain’s ‘South Bound Train’ and today’s selection, the Yardbirds’ ‘Stroll On’.
A cursory listen to the tune will reveal that ‘Stroll On’ is in fact yet another iteration of Tiny Bradshaw’s ‘Train Kept a Rolling’, retitled ‘Stroll On’ when the Yardbirds performed it in Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘Blow Up’.
The Gentrys give the tune plenty of kick, with a nice bit of unison lead guitar. The production by Sam Phillips’ son Knox has a nice, hard edge to it.
I hope you dig it, and I’llbe back later in the week with something cool.