The Jordan Brothers – Gimme Some Lovin’

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The Jordan Brothers

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Listen/Download – The Jordan Brothers – Gimme Some Lovin’

Greetings all.

I know that today’s post makes for two British invasion covers in a row, but sometimes that’s just how it works out.

Fittingly, I first heard of the Jordan Brothers version of ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ while looking for information on another early version of a bigger hit (probably one of Evie Sands many near-misses). I had never heard of the group, and the idea that they had beaten the Spencer Davis Group onto the charts in the US (with their own song) was intriguing, so I set off in search of my own copy.

Fortunately this was neither difficult nor expensive, and in no time at all I was grooving to the Jordan Brothers take on the song.

The Jordan Brothers were (unsurprisingly) brothers, though the amount of actual brothers in the band apparently changed over the course of their career.

Based out of Frackville, Pennsylvania, the Jordans released a string of 45s for a variety of labels (having a minor hit in 1960 with ‘Things I Didn’t Say’) through the 1960s and 1970s.

Their record company got their hands on a tape of the Spencer Davis Group original – already a hit in the UK – and the recorded their own, slightly garagier/less soulful version of the song and released it in the November of 1966, scoring a decent regional hit with it in a number of East Coast markets.

The Spencer Davis Group version would hit the US charts in December of 1966, competing with the Jordan Brothers version, but eventually scoring a much bigger, more widespread hit (which is why you know who Steve Winwood is, but probably never heard of the Jordan Brothers).

This was the only substantial chart appearance for the Jordan Brothers, who would continue releasing music into the 1970s.

I hope you dig the track, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Mojo Men – Off the Hook

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The Mojo Men

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Listen/Download – The Mojo Men – Off the Hook

Greetings all.

One of the great joys of digging for new music is finding the unexpected. I have long since given up digging in the field with a portable turntable, because to be frank, it’s kind of a pain in the ass.

I’d rather apply a mixture of what I already know, with a dose of intuition, in the hopes that when I return home and drop the needle on the record, the results will be satisfactory.

The record you see before you today is the result of just that kind of digging.

I always stop when I pick up a 45 on the storied Autumn label (San Fran beat, folk rock and even soul), and I linger when the song in question is an interesting cover.

The Mojo Men were already on my radar via their 1966 cover of the Buffalo Springfield’s ‘Sit Down I Think I Love You’, which was a Top 40 hit and later included on the original Lenny Kaye compiled ‘Nuggets’ set.

That single, an ornately poppy number would never suggest to me that the group in question had something like the 45 you see before you today up their musical sleeve.

As it turns out, they sort of didn’t.

Allow me to ‘splain.

The original Mojo Men were an all-male quartet that migrated from Florida to the Bay Area in 1964. Not long after their arrival they hooked up with one Sylvester Stewart (known to his friend as Sly) and recorded some demo material with him in the group. Apparently unsatisfied with the results, Sly left the group bit continued to champion them, bringing them to Autumn Records where he was a house producer.

This version of the Mojo Men recorded a few 45s in 1965, the first of which was a cover of the Rolling Stones ‘Off The Hook’, which had first appeared on ‘Rolling Stones Now!’ earlier that same year.

The Mojo Men do a serviceable rendering of the tune, moving in an early-garage direction, which is missing some of the loose-limbed swagger of the OG but still delivers.

The 45’s flipside ‘Dance With Me’ made it into the Top 100, but the following year drummer Dennis DeCarr would leave the group, to be replaced by Jan Errico, late of the Vejtables (and apparently related somehow – either sister or cousin – to Sly and the Family Stone drummer Greg Errico).

It was with Errico that they would have their biggest hit with ‘Sit Down I Think I Love You’, and continued to record through the end of the decade.

Sundazed has done a couple of different comps on the band, though some of them seem to be out of print.

I hope you dig the track, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Kingsmen – Trouble

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The Kingsmen

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Listen/Download – The Kingsmen – Trouble

Greetings all.

Before we get started, it behooves me to make you aware that Pennytown Sound has done a deluxe reissue of Mod Fun’s 1984 debut 45, in a fantastic new picture sleeve. You get remastered versions of the Mod revival classics ‘I Am With You’ and ‘Happy Feeling’. This was one of the best 45s of the 80s, and now you can have your own copy! You can hit up Pennytown Sound on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/penntownsound  or contact them through the postal service at Pennytown Sound, PO Box 771, Pennington, NJ 08534 USA

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I hope all is groovy in your part of the world.

This week, I thought I’d whip out a little garage grit from the archives.

The Kingsmen are certainly one of the better known progenitors of (and eventually participators in) the 60s garage punk thing.

There are those that’ll try to convince you that all roads lead to ‘Louie Louie’, but I’d bring things into slightly clearer focus by directing you to the whole Pacific Northwest sound as the closest thing 60s punk has to a genuine incubator.

Certainly there are all of the outside influences, American R&B and soul, British beat and R&B, surf, rockabilly etc, but rarely did all the threads of Gordian knot come together the way they did in the foggy, damp, evergreen world of Washington and Oregon.

The Kingsmen were together for a long-ass time, with a whole lot of members, and they managed to stay on the charts to one extent or another for almost ten years.

Today’s selection is one of those tunes that rang a bell when I heard it, but I couldn’t remember why for the longest time.

‘Trouble’, written by Artie Resnick and Joey Levine appeared on the group’s 1966 LP ‘Up and Away’ and was released as a single (with almost no impact) the same year.

It’s a rough, raw slice of garage stomp, not in the “roots of garage” way, but in a real, snotty, mid-60s teen way.

Pushed forward by heavy rhythm guitar and primitive drumming, the vocals are just this side of ‘off key’ (in a good way) and the lyrics are good’n’mean.

‘Up and Away’ is a great album, with lots of cool cuts, including the Kingsmen take on the PNW standard ‘Little Sally Tease’, Beatles, Stones and Troggs covers and some cool originals.

I had this track in storage for a long time because I knew I’d heard it covered somewhere, but couldn’t remember who had done it. This week when it finally hit me that I’d heard it covered back in the 80s by the mighty Fleshtones, so I figured that now that the slate was clean, it was time to drop it in your laps.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #44

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
Small Face – All Or Nothing (RCA)
Small Faces – Understanding (RCA)
Small Faces – Tin Soldier (Immediate)
Small Faces – I Feel Much Better (Immediate)
Small Faces – Afterglow of Our Love (Immediate)
Small Faces – Wham Bam Thank You Man (Immediate)
Faces – Oh Lord I’m Browned Off (WB)
Faces – I Know I’m Losing You (Live on BBC Saturday Club)
There Are But Four Small Faces Promo

Asylum Choir- Icicle Star Tree (Smash)
Asylum Choir – Episode Containing Three Songs (NY OP/Land of Dog/Mr Henri the Clown) (Smash)
Asylum Choir – Death of the Flowers (Smash)
Asylum Choir – Indian Style (Smash)
Leon Russell – Delta Lady (Shelter)
Leon Russell – Prince of Peace (Shelter)
Leon Russell and the Shelter People – Of Thee I Sing (Shelter)
Leon Russell and the Shelter People – Beware of Darkness (Shelter)
Leon Russell and the Shelter People – Crystal Closet Queen (Shelter)

Gene Pitney – Heartbreaker (Musicor)
Billy Joe Royal – Hush (Columbia)
Beverley – Where the Good Times Are (Deram)
The Cast of Thousands – Cast’s Blues (Amy)
Kaleidoscope – Elevator Man (Epic)
Russell Morris – The Real Thing Pts1&2 (Diamond)
Houstons – Sea of Tranquility (World Pacific)
Houstons – Solar Light (World Pacific)
Strawbs – Or Am I Dreaming (A&M)
Fleetwood Mac – Albatross (Epic)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #44 – 207MB/256kbps

 

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

I have an extra groovy (extra long) episode for you this month, starting out with a tribute to the late Ian McLagan, then on to a set of late 60s/early 70s Leon Russell (with Asylum Choir and the Shelter People) and then closing things out with a bunch of recent arrivals and greats from the crates.

As always I hope you dig it, and that you all have an extra Merry Christmas.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Rick Nelson – Marshmallow Skies

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Rick Nelson in a still from his ‘Don’t Make Promises’ video

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Listen/Download – Rick Nelson – Marshmallow Skies

Greetings all.

I was rolling around in my iPod – much like Scrooge McDuck rolling around in hundred dollar bills – when what should I come upon but tracks I’d recorded from Rick Nelson’s 1967 ‘change of pace’ LP, ‘Another Side of Rick’.

My love for this record goes back to the mid-80s, when I was passed a bootleg VHS of 1960s music video, culled from various TV dance parties, variety shows and a few purpose-made, primitive rock videos.

One of the clips included was Rick Nelson performing my all-time favorite Tim Hardin song, ‘Don’t Make Promises’ (written up here was back in 2007).

Not long after that, I managed to find a copy of the album where that recording originated.

Rick Nelson is an interesting example of a guy who is much more musically interesting than many people would give him credit for, thanks in large part to his early years as a TV star/teen idol.

His early catalog is filled with quality rock’n’roll – and the occasional blinding bit of rockabilly – and his later years feature some of the best country rock of the era.

‘Another Side of Rick’ fell in between those two eras, during a time where Nelson, like so many of his contemporariesm was trying to stay relevant.

While he certainly wasn’t morphing into Jimi Hendrix, he was making some excellent mid-60s pop rock, and as you’ll see with today’s selection, dabbling in popsike.

Co-written by Nelson and his longtime sideman (and guitar whiz) James Burton, and arranged and produced by Jimmie Haskell and Jack Nitzsche, ‘Marshmallow Skies’ is a mellow, sitar-infused bit of Southern California pop.

Pushed along gently by nicely baroque orchestration and a subtly applied rhythm section, ‘Marshmallow Skies’ wouldn’t seem out of place on an LP by Donovan or late-period Chad and Jeremy.

There are those out there that don’t dig this album (or this song),but I think you ought to give it a chance.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Ian McLagan 1945 – 2014

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Ian McLagan

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The Firm of Jones, McLagan, Lane and Marriott

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The Faces – Jones, Stewart, Wood, McLagan and Lane 

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Listen/Download – The Small Faces – Tin Soldier MP3

Listen/Download – The Faces – (I Know) I’m Losing You (Live at the BBC)

Listen/Download – The Faces – Oh Lord I’m Browned Off

Greetings all.

This week the world of music was stunned by the sudden death of legendary keyboardist Ian McLagan.

McLagan was lucky enough to have manned the keys in both the Small Faces (replacing Jimmy Winston in 1965) and then following some of his bandmates into the slightly larger Faces.

As someone who grew up in a house where the piano loomed large (thanks to my old man) I have always had a healthy respect for keyboard players, and Ian McLagan was among the best.

He was also – as were many of his ilk – cursed by his position in the band to fade into the woodwork.

Frontment, guitarists and bassists have the luxury of moving around the stage, playing the fool, and the drummer – in addition to often being the loudest goon on the bandstand, is usually right there in the middle of things.

The poor keyboardist (lead singers like Steve Winwood excepted) are often on the side of the stage, seated behind some huge appliance made of wood and wires, providing much of the musical texture, yet out of sight, and as usually follows, out of mind.

As you may already be aware, especially if you follow Funky16Corners, I am a certified Hammond organ and electric piano nut, so my ears have always been attuned to Mac’s prodigious skills.

At his very best, Mac was the epitome of the team player, eschewing the bombast of contemporaries like Keith Emerson, choosing instead to add layers, and more importantly, punctuation of a sort. He used the piano and organ to add texture and emphasis to songs.

The first track I’m featuring today appeared here at Iron Leg back in 2010, and is for me the finest thing the Small Faces ever did. ‘Tin Soldier’, recorded in 1967 is the perfect intersection of the group’s R&B roots and the more progressive direction things were moving in at the time.

‘Tin Soldier’ is a master class in rock dynamics, due in large part to McLagan’s electric piano, which sets the tone, and (with the organ) lays the foundation for the entire song. The electric piano break at 1:29 is as powerful as anything that ever appeared on a Small Faces record.

The Faces were another bag entirely. With Rod Stewart and Ron Wood (it took two regular humans to replace Steve Marriott) added to the mix things got a whole lot shaggier but the mix was every bit as potent as with the Small Faces.

I’m including two Faces tracks here, one that illustrates Mac’s power as a sideman, and the second an organ feature.

The Faces cover of the Temptations ‘(I Know) I’m Losing You’ – recorded by the band but released as part of Rod Stewart’s solo LP ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ – is one of the band’s best known recordings. This version, recorded live for the BBC ‘Sounds For Saturday’ program in 1971, once again features McLagan’s electric piano as a prominent voice. As loud as Ronnie Wood’s guitar is, Mac’s piano is right there with him, and when you get to 2:05, and the band drops back (except to hum), and the piano comes in by itself, it’s a thing to behold.

The last track is ‘Oh Lord I’m Browned Off’, which appeared as the b-side to the single of ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’. A Wood/McLagan/Lane/Jones composition, the Hammond-led instro starts off like a distant cousin of the Turtles’ ‘Buzz Saw’, rolling out into a funky groove with plenty of solo time for McLagan and some bottleneck guitar from Wood.

Following the demise of the Faces, McLagan followed Wood into the New Barbarians, formed his own Bump Band, played for years with Billy Bragg, and recorded as a sideman for all kinds of people.

He had been living in Austin, TX for many years when he passed away.

He will be missed.

See you next week.

 

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners some soul

Hal Blaine (The Drummer Man) and the Young Cougars – Challenger II

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Hal Blaine

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Listen/Download – Hal Blaine (the Drummer Man) and the Young Cougars – Challenger II

Greetings all.

Here’s a groovy one pulled straight from the annals of chance encounters.

I was on the prowl for a certain 45 – (the original recording of ‘I’m Into Somethin’ Good’ by Earl-Jean) and found it sitting in the midst of a ‘lot’ of 45s.

The whole megillah only cost seven dollars, so I thought it worth the risk and pulled the trigger.

About a week later, the package falls through the mailslot, and alongside Earl-Jean (which was, as it turns out, in excellent condition) I got a couple of other groovy discs, including last week’s Strawbs 45 , and the disc you see before you today.

I have never been a connoisseur of ‘hot rod’ 45s, but I am certainly not averse to the potent mixture of fuzz, reverb and novelty.

The record in question – Hal Blaine (the Drummer Man) and the Young Cougars ‘Challenger II’ – is a particularly cool example of the genre.

Written by none other than Lee Hazlewood, and played by Blaine and his Wrecking Crew buddies, like Glenn Campbell, Leon Russell, Carol Kaye and Billy Strange, ‘Challenger II’ mixes a fuzz guitar lead with vibes and (of course) Blaine’s pounding drums.

The flipside, ‘Gear Stripper’ was written by David Gates (who arranged the LP), years before he morphed into a slice of Bread.

The tracks were included on the LP ‘Deuces, T’s, Roadsters and Drums’ released in 1963.

I hope you dig the track, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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