reissued

Del-Lords' first three albums reissued on American Beat/Collectors' Choice

In New York in the mid-‘80s, four veteran New York musicians united to form the Del-Lords: Scott Kempner from the Dictators, Eric Ambel from Joan Jett’s Blackhearts, future Cracker drummer Frank Funaro and thundering bassist Manny Caiati. Key songwriter Kempner said his vision “was to create a band that would feature four singers performing my songs — an East Coast Beach Boys if you will.” But rather than singing about girls and cars, the Del-Lords sang about things that mattered to them: the everyday grind of life and how it affected the band and those around them.

The Del-Lords recorded three albums that broke no sales records but helped start an American rock ’n’ roll rebirth — and helped sire the Americana movement as well. And now, after a long absence from the marketplace, the first three long-players — Frontier Days, Johnny Comes Marching Home and Based on a True Story — will be reissued on CD by American Beat Records through Collectors’ Choice Music, on May 26, 2009. Their last two albums, Lovers Who Wander and Howlin’ at the Halloween Moon, will come out later this year.

• Frontier Days: The band’s 1984 debut album showed the Del-Lords could rock as hard as the meanest punk bands of the day but also kept an ear toward the melody of the songs. Rolling Stone awarded the album four stars and Robert Christgau in the Village Voice graded it A–, his only complaint that production by Lou Whitney (Skeletons, Morells) wasn’t commercial enough to get radio airplay. And Trouser Press exclaimed, “The Del-Lords embrace rock’s basic components with such skill and verve that they outshine everyone else on the scene.” A promising start. Songs include “Burning in the Flame of Love,” ”Get Tough” and six others from the original LP, plus five never-before-heard bonus tracks and new liner notes from Kempner. First time on CD!

• Johnny Comes Marching Home: For their second album, the band switched to an unlikely producer with a proven track record for rock radio hits, Neil Geraldo (Pat Benatar’s guitarist/producer/husband.) The gamble paid off. Johnny retains the drive and grit of the first album yet the sound is brighter and more engaging. Also aiding the cause was two years of road miles under their belts when they went into the studio. The signature Link Wray echo and rockabilly swagger is still there, kicked into a new gear. Included are the songs “Heaven,” “Love Lies Dying,” “Saint Jake.” “No Waitress No More” and six others. In addition, five previously unreleased tracks are included. Another CD debut!

• Based on a True Story: This 1988 album marked the first time in the band’s career that they went into the studio with a full team in place, Geraldo returning to the producer’s chair, in a pedal-to-the-metal, show-me-what-you-got affair. This time the band had help from a few guest vocalists — Syd Straw, Mojo Nixon, Kim Shattuck (The Pandoras) and, yes, Pat Benatar. True to their guns, the band turned down a lucrative beer company sponsorship, preferring to remain a no-nonsense working man’s rock ’n’ roll band at its peak. This album was released on CD, but due to a label shakeup not many copies found their way into stores. The album contains their biggest hit, “Judas Kiss,” as well as “The Cool and the Crazy,” “Crawl in Bed,” “Cheyenne” and six others, plus, you guessed it, five previously unreleased bonus tracks. Kempner again wrote liner notes for the reissue.

Looking back a quarter of a century to the band formation, Kempner explains: “The Del-Lords were conceived as Holy Sacrament: two guitars, bass & drums, four lead singers, just the way we figured El Hombre Grande wanted it. F--- not with what is essentially perfect! However, the reverence ended there and we were more in tune with John Lennon's assessment: ‘the blues ain't a painting to look at and admire, it's a chair to sit in and use.’ They called it ‘roots-rock’ or ‘cowpunk,’ we called it rock 'n' roll. The good kind. It was firmly rooted in the great artists who came before but, we were burdened in soul and of mind with a very bad attitude. We stomped all over the blues, country, rock 'n' roll, of all kinds and twisted it into something uniquely of us. I mean, I'm a Jew from the South F---n' Bronx! Who am I kidding?

“Now, 25 years after the fact the landscape is grim once again,” he adds. “Just like 1984. Rock 'n' roll where art thou? It seems to me it's the same folks playin’ it now that was playin’ it then. Blessed are the faithful. These records we made back then sound awful good to me right now. A mighty noise. They sound necessary again. Rock'n'roll gives what it gets. Remember that! It's not a painting, it's a f---in' chair!”

Chris Darrow was California's rock Zelig - Reissued 70's LP

Chris Darrow- for the Grateful Web

Chris Darrow may not be a household name — yet. But throughout the history of Southern California country-rock, folk, surf, psychedelic and world music, he has cast a welcome presence. His trail-blazing, country-rock-leaning pair of solo albums, Chris Darrow (1973) and Under My Own Disguise (1974), soon will be released by Everloving Records, the home of Inara George & Van Dyke Parks, Cornelius and Herman Dune . The Darrow collection, titled Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise, will be available as a deluxe two-CD, two-LP (180 gram vinyl) with a 48-page 12" x 12" photo book. Street date is March 3, 2009.
 
The music will also be available through digital retailers without all the fancy stuff.
 
The Chris Darrow story begins with Kaleidoscope, a late '60s L.A.-based band cited by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page as his "favorite band of all time." Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman wrote in his book Follow the Music that the first Kaleidoscope album, Side Trips, is his favorite album of all time. Why this cult mania? Kaleidoscope was the first to blend country, rock, folk, blues, psychedelic and world music and have been called the first "world beat" band. They were also precursors to the Flying Burrito Brothers. Singer/songwriter/guitarist David Lindley was also a member.
 
But the Chris Darrow story did not end with Kaleidoscope's dissolution. He joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and then followed the band's Jeff Hanna into the Corvettes on Dot Records. The Corvettes (sans Chris) went on to become Linda Ronstadt's band. Later the Dirt band reformed with Bernie Leadon, who soon became a Flying Burrito Brother. (Is this saga Southern California enough for you?) Darrow later recorded and toured with Hoyt Axton, John Stewart, James Taylor, Sonny & Cher, Gene Vincent, John Fahey and Helen Reddy. As the Chris Darrow reputation continued to develop, he crafted a pair of legendary solo albums for the United Artists label: Chris Darrow and Under My Own Disguise.
 
The story goes on and on — Darrow went on to record with Nesmith, Kaleidoscope briefly reunited, he recorded with Chris D's Divine Horsemen, formed an unlikely working relationship with colorful producer Kim Fowley and an even less likely collaboration with the Surf Punks' Dennis Dragon. As Darrow continued his 40-year (so far) career in the music business, a new generation of artists discovered him.
 
Ben Harper, who grew up in Darrow's long-time roost of Claremont, Calif., covered the song "Whipping Boy" from Chris Darrow. The Dust Brothers later remixed it. Mudhoney's Steve Turner has come to idolize Darrow, writing: "It's these solo albums that keep finding their way onto the turntable around my house They have slowly, through the years, wound up in the hands of the right people. People like you and me. And that's no accident."
 
Likewise, many authors have cited Darrow's contribution to the development of Southern California rock.  He is invoked in such volumes as Barney Hoskyns' Waiting for the Sun and Hotel California, Chuck Crisafulli's Are You Ready for the Country, Richie Unterberger's Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock.

Enter Everloving Records, the esoteric label from L.A.'s Loz Feliz, known for its relationship with the Claremont musical community that begat both Darrow and Ben Harper. The LA Weekly's Randall Roberts described Everloving as "globetrotting this year, putting out thrilling music by Germans, French, Japanese and Angelenos. The label since 2003 has delivered hot music action from wherever it arrives. They cherry-pick choice little records from across the globe and deliver them stateside."
 
Everloving Records is noted for their innovative packaging. The Darrow package is an objet d'art. But how will the label create widespread demand for a double album reissue by an artist from the '60s and '70s whom — if you're under a certain age — you've likely never heard of til moments ago? Glad you asked. That's where you come in.

Creedence Clearwater LPs Reissued on Sept 30th, 2008

Creedence Clearwater- for the Grateful Web

The first six albums by Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductees Creedence Clearwater Revival will be reissued by Fantasy Records (a unit of Concord Music Group) on September 30, 2008 as six individual expanded-edition CDs. The set marks the legendary band's 40th anniversary. The albums — Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy & the Poor Boys, Cosmo's Factory and Pendulum, all originally released from 1968-70 —have been digitally remastered and contain an array of rarities: B-sides, unreleased studio and live material, even a summit between the band and Booker T & the MGs. The reissues will be presented in Digi-Paks that faithfully recreate each original album package in meticulous detail. All feature liner notes by world-class rock music journalists such as Robert Christgau, Ben Fong-Torres, Dave Marsh, Joel Selvin and Ed Ward.
 
These albums feature the original band from El Cerrito, California: John Fogerty (chief songwriter, vocalist and guitarist), Tom Fogerty (guitar), Stu Cook (bass) and Doug Clifford (drums). The four cut their teeth as a Tommy Fogerty & the Blue Velvets and later as the Golliwogs. Then, in 1967, after John's stint in the military, they reunited as Creedence Clearwater Revival and found their own groove, inspired by the music of their youth. "Although they sounded like no other band," Fong-Torres notes, "They redefined rock and roll. They showed, in the most entertaining way possible, how the music could embrace — and was, in fact, founded on — elements of R&B and the blues, country, folk, and jazz, as well as a world of other musical forms. Creedence were pioneers in the fusion of rock and country. They were roots before 'roots' took hold as a music genre."

A quick look at the individual reissues:
 
Creedence Clearwater Revival [Expanded Reissue]: This album included CCR's first smash hit, the Dale Hawkins song "Suzie Q," plus the classic cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You." The reissue contains four bonus tracks: "Call it Pretending" (the B-side of the band's first single), the band's first recording of a cover of Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me" (later re-recorded for Cosmo's Factory), a live version of "Ninety-Nine and a Half" recorded at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1969, and a full-length live version of "Suzie Q." Almost famous former Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres wrote the notes.
 
Bayou Country [Expanded Reissue]: Creedence Clearwater's second album was chock full of hits and much-played album tracks: "Proud Mary," "Born on the Bayou," the Little Richard cover "Good Golly Miss Molly," the seven-minute "Graveyard Train" and the eight-minute "Keep on Choogling." The reissue also contains a longer alternate take of the album track "Bootleg," live versions of "Born on the Bayou" and "Proud Mary," and a psychedelic blues jam recorded live by San Francisco's seminal KSAN-FM called "Crazy Otto." Annotator was San Francisco Chronicle pop music editor Joel Selvin.
 
Green River [Expanded Reissue]: Green River contained the hits and notable album tracks "Green River," "Bad Moon Rising" and "Lodi" plus a cover of Ray Charles' blues standard "Night Time is the Right Time." Bonus material includes "Broken Spoke Shuffle," the instrumental track to a song John Fogerty never finished, another unfinished track called "Glory Be," plus three live tracks: "Bad Moon Rising" from the 1971 Berlin concert, "Green River/Suzie Q" from the 1971 Stockholm show, and "Lodi," recorded in Hamburg. Liner notes by the esteemed critic Dave Marsh.
 
Willy & the Poor Boys [Expanded Reissue]: Willy came out in 1969, when, as annotator Ed Ward writes, "a period when Creedence, surely the most anomalous band in the San Francisco explosion of the late '60s, was also proving its most commercial seller of them all." The album contains the anthemic "Fortunate Son" along with "Down on the Corner" and a cover of the traditional folk song "The Midnight Special." Bonus tracks include live versions of "Fortunate Son" and "It Came Out of the Sky," plus an unreleased studio version of "Down on the Corner" recorded with Booker T & the MGs for a TV special at the band's Berkeley rehearsal hall. The song features John Fogerty trading licks with guitar hero Steve Cropper.
 
Cosmo's Factory [Expanded Reissue]: Cosmo's Factory was the fourth and biggest of the string of five Top 10 albums Creedence Clearwater Revival released in 1969 and 1970. Included were "Travelin' Band," "Lookin' Out My Back Door," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Run Through the Jungle" and covers from Marvin Gaye (CCR's signature take on "I Heard it Through the Grapevine"), Bo Diddley, Roy Orbison and Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. Bonus material includes a bare bones, horns-free remake of "Travelin' Band," a live version of "Up Around the Bend" from the 1971 European tour, plus an unreleased version of "Born on the Bayou" emanating from the CCR/Booker T & the MGs summit which took place in 1970 at Cosmo's Factory studio. Notes were penned by Robert Christgau.
 
Pendulum [Expanded Reissue]: Creedence by this time was the top-selling rock band in the world, coming off seven consecutive Top 10 hits. The album contained the hits "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," "Hey Tonight" and "Molina." Bonus tracks include a live "Hey Tonight" plus "45 Revolutions Per Minute (Parts 1 & 2), the rarest of CCR collectibles, which was packaged in a plain white sleeve alluding to the Beatles' White Album.  Produced under the spell of the Fab Four's "Revolution No. 9," the tape montage tries to impart the elusive Creedence humor with the help of Bay Area DJ Tom Campbell. Joel Selvin wrote the liner notes.