Nov 24, 2009
John Renbourn (born 8 August 1944, Marylebone, London, England) is an English guitarist and songwriter. He is possibly best known for his collaboration with guitarist Bert Jansch as well as his work with the folk group Pentangle, although he maintained a solo career both before, during and after that band's existence (1967-1973).
While most commonly labelled a folk musician, Renbourn's musical tastes and interests take in early music, classical music, blues and world music. His most influential album, Sir John Alot (1968), featured his take on songs from the Medieval era.
Renbourn released several albums on the Transatlantic label during the 1960s. Two of them, Sir John Alot and Lady And The Unicorn sum up Renbourn's playing style and material from this period. Sir John Alot has a mixture of jazz/blues/folk playing alongside a more classical/early music style. Lady And The Unicorn is heavily influenced by Renbourn's interest in early music.
At around this time, Renbourn also started playing with Jacqui McShee who sang traditional English folk songs. Together with Bert Jansch, bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Terry Cox, they went on to form Pentangle. The group became very successful, touring America in 1968, playing at Carnegie Hall and the Newport Folk Festival.
Renbourn went on to record more solo albums in the 1970s and 1980s. Much of the music is based on traditional material with a Celtic influence, interwoven with other styles. He also collaborated with American guitarist Stefan Grossman in the late 1970s, recording two albums with him, which at times recall his folk baroque days with Bert Jansch.
Nov 19, 2009
This soft rock trio from Los Angeles, California consisted of guitarist Dan Hamilton (originally from Wetnatchee, Washington), bassist Joe Frank Carollo (from Leland, Mississippi) and drummer Tommy Reynolds (from New York City). The three first came together in a studio instrumental group known as The T-Bones. During the early sixties, it was not uncommon for a record company to release material recorded by studio sessionmen and pass it off to the unsuspecting public as being recordings by a real, live rock 'n' roll ensemble.
The first LPs by the T-Bones, "Boss Drag" and "Boss Drag At The Beach", were released in 1964 to exploit the craze for instrumentals evoking surf and hot-rod themes. "Doin' The Jerk" followed the next year, to capitalize on the huge west coast dance craze, The Jerk. The T-Bones became a notable one-hit-wonder in late 1965 with a number three, U.S. hit called "No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In", a composition by Sascha Burland based on an Alka-Seltzer commercial. An album of the same name became the group's only pop chart entry at number 75. A follow-up single, "Sippin' And Chippin'", which was based on a Nabisco jingle, stalled at number 62 and the album of the same name did not chart at all. The last T-Bones LP was "Everyone's Gone To The Moon", late in 1966.
Hamilton, Carollo and Reynolds finally tired of the studio grind and formed a trio under their own names, signing with Dunhill Records. Their first two singles were released in 1971, but "Annabella" and "Daisy Mae" failed to reach the U.S. charts or get much radio play. Their third effort however, "Don't Pull Your Love" became a smash hit, climbing to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, although it failed to chart at all in the UK. A long line of follow-up singles were issued, but none could match the band's earlier success and by early 1973, Tommy Reynolds left, joining another group called Shango.
In one of the boldest moves in rock & roll history, either Hamilton and Carollo or Dunhill Records hired singer Alan Dennison to take Reynolds' place, yet didn't change the name of the band! The assumption must have been that it was foolish to risk what little name recognition the floundering group already had.
The band continued to struggle artistically until 1975 when they released "Fallin' In Love", an easy listening ballad that was perfect for the adult oriented, FM soft rock market. The record shot up the U.S. charts, eventually hitting number one, while climbing to number 33 in the UK.
Feeling more like hit makers again, the band changed its name in 1976 to more accurately reflect the new line-up, and became "Hamilton, Joe Frank and Dennison". Under that name, they released one more minor U.S. hit called "Don't Fight The Hands (That Need You"). After that, the hits dried up completely and the trio went their separate ways.
Nov 13, 2009
Mark–Almond were an English band of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who worked in the territory between rock and jazz. In 1970 Jon Mark and Johnny Almond formed Mark-Almond (also occasionally referred to as The Mark-Almond Band). The melancholy tones of saxophonist Almond were an integral part of the group's sound, and Almond frequently played flute as well, including the bass flute. Characterized by a blend of blues and jazz riffs, latin beats, and a mellow rock aesthetic, and in contrast the heavier guitar-driven rock of his contemporaries, composer and band leader Mark worked at producing warm and melodic works.
Mark-Almond's first two albums, Mark-Almond (1971) and Mark-Almond II (1972) were recorded for Bob Krasnow's Blue Thumb label, and were noted for their embossed envelope-style album covers. "One Way Sunday" was a hit for them in the United States and hit #1 in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. The group then recorded two albums for Columbia Records, Rising (1972) and the live album, Mark-Almond 73 (1973), by which time the group's members had grown to seven. In October 1972, Mark was involved in an accident in Hawaii and lost most of his left-hand ring finger. "What Am I Living For" from Mark-Almond 73 gained the group the most U.S. radio airplay they would get, but nevertheless they disbanded later that year.