It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

It's Psychedelic Baby is an independent, music magazine covering a wide range of alternative, underground and mostly non-mainstream music. Exclusive interviews, reviews and articles. A place where musicians can express themselves. We serve an international readership.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vinyl Of The Day premièr with brand new Clearaudio turntable

We are premièring our series with brand new Clearaudio Performance DC with tangential tonearm technology. First LP featured was sent by Third Man Records from Nashville. Enjoy Dodge and Burn by The Dead Weather.


For more information about turntable and Vinyl Of The Day series click below.
Turntable: Performance DC
Tonearm: TT5 tonearm
Cartridge: Essence MC cartridge

About Vinyl Of The Day:
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/p/vinyl-of-day.html

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Clearaudio with Performance DC sponsoring Vinyl Of The Day


We are very proud to report that hi-end turntable company Clearaudio is sponsoring our work with their PERFORMANCE DC. Company is known for their advance in audio technology and they've sent us a very special model Performance DC with their brand new tangential tonearm TT5. Because of the tangential tonearm the cartridge remains parallel to the record groove, following the same path as the cutting head did when making the record, thus eliminating any lateral tracking error. And since the record groove, stylus, cantilever and tonearm are perfectly aligned, no side forces are generated and so anti-skating compensation is no longer required. Hi-end materials are used in every part of this turntable. 
Our Performance DC came with Essence MC cartridge, which is absolutely mind blowing and quite a step forward from Concept MC cartridge.

You can find more information at their website:
Turntable: Performance DC
Tonearm: TT5 tonearm

Below you can see a few more photos from our system. We now have two Clearaudio turntables. As you know their Concept turntable was used for our very popular series Vinyl Of The Day. Hundreds of new vinyl releases have been played on their wonderful turntable. 
We are extremely happy that from now on we can use their Performance DC with unique tangential tonearm. 

Clearaudio is certainly one of those rare companies where sound without compromise is what they are really after.


We are currently listening your LPs with Clearaudio Performance in combination with EAR phono stage, Accuphase amplification and legendary Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers.


I would like to thank to Dani Stropnik for professional assemble and setup of Clearaudio turntable.


Now we're off to spin and photograph newly arrived vinyl records. Those interested in submitting your album for our Vinyl Of The Day series please click on the link below for more information.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

JAZZ CORNER Presents: Hank Crawford - Mr. Blues (1967)


Both admired and unknown in the same circles, Hank Crawford had careers within careers within careers. Most notably was the sound he created for the legendary Ray Charles, perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of his life, playing both baritone and alto sax, and all while being the musical director who was responsible for those soulful gospel infused meanderings that made Ray Charles a hit with R&B and jazz audiences alike.

Recorded in 1965 and 1966, at the height of super coolness, at a time that stood in sharp juxtaposition to the counterculture revolution of the love generation, Hank Crawford seemed to be a disappointment to many critics who felt his most noted work was somewhere behind him, and feeling that his best efforts where when he was not soloing, but rather working within the constructs of another person’s band ... able to improve their sound with nuances only his ears could here, and his mind conceive. Now for me, that notion is a bit perplexing, as I never expected that Mr. Crawford would be doing a straight up blues album, always knowing that it was going to be a jazz album with blues influences, or his personal take on blues standards. Consider that it’s been said that Crawford doesn’t add anything special to “Lonely Avenue,” a song made famous by Ray Charles. But he does bring something new to “Lonely Avenue,” and I’m punching my finger into the table as I say that, because what he brings to the song is his vision, his rendition, his atmosphere. He doesn’t go and do the expected, with the expected being that what jazzmen are supposed to do with blues is to add an extended bar patter, or a turnaround that encompasses a rhythmic figure or tag ending. Yet Crawford ignores all of that, setting a future table for the likes of Van Morrison to shine with a voiceover that is totally Hank Crawford, and not Ray Charles. Much the same has been said for his vision of “Mr. Blues,” where he’s be criticized for the song’s less than stellar guitar work. Yet again, with 21st Century ears, I’m not wishing for soaring guitar work, I’m looking for just what Hand Crawford delivered, and that’s a bit of understated bliss that both hits the mark, sets the tempo, and delivers with refined punctuation. 


What I’m trying to say, and hoping you that you will listen with new awareness, is that Mr. Crawford is incorporating a blues ‘feeling’ ... not a blues atmosphere or attitude. He relays his take on the blues almost matter of factly, as if it’s hovering in the air, just out of reach, yet certainly within earshot. I find this body of work to be irresistible. Just consider the arrangement expertise required to bring “Route 66” to life, or the emotional ballad “Teardrops.” And then without hesitation he moves into his originals to round off and enhance the album in an uplifting edgy manner that’s a sheer delight.

So, to all of you jazz listeners who pigeonhole yourselves by implying that this isn’t one of Crawford’s “quintessential” albums, which is just a hip way of saying that Mr. Blues is not one of his most commercial or accessible bodies of work. I say, “Drop the pretenses, this is jazz, rules are made to be broke and rearranged. Listen to this special production for what it is, and not what it isn’t, and I promise you you’ll have a grand time.”

Review by Jenell Kesler/2016
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Psychedelic Baby presents: Blues Fuzz - Have You Seen My Baby premiere


A raw psychedelic trio Blues Fuzz, hailing from all over the world and uniting in Leeds (UK) to recapture the sound of the late 1960s psychedelic era. The true spirit of psychedelia with no half measures. From the far east to low lands of Europe, bringing that little something from the diverse culture and encapsulating it within the freaky sounds of Blues Fuzz. Imagine some far-out sitar vibrations from India, with a European freak beat and the feel of the exhausted Sun setting over a Texan desert. 

The band started to make their music earlier this year, already with a couple of psyched out numbers under their sleeves. The music entrances the audience and made eyes and minds open up. Their inspiration comes from everything that is now considered rare to find, little gems and one hit wonders that never got out there. Not forgetting the gods of world's psychedelic scene over the Atlantic ocean that we worship: The Doors, Frank Zappa, Country Joe and the Fish and more you can keep naming it! Play us a record that was released from 1967 to mid 70s and I doubt that we will turn our back to it. 


We want to revive that scene back here in the UK. Having released a couple of DIY home recordings one of them being 'Have You Seen my Baby' recorded in April this year the band is looking to expand their routes and reach out to all hungry psychedelic ears out there. We are looking to attract and bring more hippie people into our circle to make outrageous music. 
- Blues Fuzz

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Leland Sundries - Music for Outcasts (2016) review


Leland Sundries - Music for Outcasts (L'Echiquier Records, 2016)

Arriving at my door wrapped in a stylishly artistic retro album jacket, the Leland Sundres album Music For Outcasts was then wrapped in a white sheet of paper, on which were dozens of lame half considered and lightly thought out reviews such as, “Oddball storytelling,” “Excellent,” “All eleven tracks show glimpses of a future masterful storyteller ...,” and of course my personal favorite “Snappy.” These semi-reviews then go on to list artists of similar ilk without any serious insight as to the decade and century we live in, or the music that’s actually presented here.

If I were to make comparisons, at the top of my list would be Stan Ridgway, The Explorers Club, and of course The Figgs. And if anything at all stood out for me that actually hinted at what was being presented here, it would be the liner notes list of “Special Thanks” that compiles a virtual who’s who of the arts.

Music For Outcasts is a stunning rendition that gathers up the best of modern rock and delivers it just in time for some serious topdown summer boardwalk fun. These songs have rambled though my head for nearly my entire life, but it took Nick Loss-Eaton to bring them into fruition, to remind me how I felt when I road the bus and saw my first neck tattoo, or how life is a series of observations strung together, with the talent being, that an artist and band are able to connect the dots, draw back the curtain, and give you that ah-ha moment of recognition. This is intimate personal lively music, where if you’re lucky enough to see the boys live, you’ll find yourself pointing back at them laughing, as if to say, “Yeah ... I know just what you mean.”

Music For Outcasts is a keeper, it’s an album that rides low in your back pocket, an album that unveils more with each listen ... and I for one hope to continue finding dot’s to connect, and the secret insights that Nick has tucked away.

Review by Jenell Kesler/2016
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It's Psychedelic Baby presents: The Night Sea - 07.01.14 premiere


The Night Sea at the core is Peter Walker & Dan Kincaid, exploring the creative process, its roots in the unconscious, and its eternal dance between the rational and intuitive mind.  The Paths of Walker and Kincaid converged in the fall of 2013 when they found themselves both embarking upon a doctorate in philosophy specializing in mythology, psychology and mysticism. The two artists quickly discovered their kindred spirit and with it the seeds of a new project. With Walker on guitar and Kincaid playing keys, the two seem to telepathically flow together, melding into one as they create sweeping textures, psychedelic soundscapes and rhythmic interplays that morph through the moment as it unfolds. The two spent those first winter and spring months exploring the inner and outer reaches of this musical vision, deciding in the early summer of 2014 that it was time to invite others along. In June of 2014 Walker crossed paths with guru percussionist Greg Ellis, and a recording session was arranged in order to participate in an intuitive sound experiment. This highly unusual engagement fueled the blossoming process, eventually leading Kincaid to extend an invitation to world-renowned multi-instrumentalist Kenny Lyon to come join in the fun.


http://dangerbirdrecords.com/
The Night Sea fanpage

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Älforjs

It´s our way of releasing energy

Älforjs.
© Pedro Roque

Älforjs is the new band of Sunflare's drummer Raphael Soares. Sunflare was a monster and same goes for Älforjs. Their first album, called Jengi, will be released on the first of May. They call it "Vodun Noise". Spot on. 

Sunflare was a psych rock band. What is Älforjs?

"Vodun Noise". It´s our way of releasing energy, each one of us have their own reasons and interpretations, but Älforjs is the communal sum of it.

Derek Bailey said that, once there's a sax involved, your music will be associated with jazz. Do you think Älforjs is influenced by it? 

Dude, we have a double bass...

Because this interview is for a magazine called It's Psychedelic Baby, I have to ask: do you see this music as psychedelic and what is your definition of  "psychedelic"? 

We see psychedelic as it is, the change of perception. We deeply believe that music should be that change.

What does Älforjs mean?

Älforjs means "saddle bag". Saddle bags have a traditional expression in Alentejo, in the south center of Portugal, used on donkeys, specially by the Almocreve, who used to be the intercity traveller and shipping service.

And the album title 'Jengi'? 

There is the wikipedia version of it and there is our own delusion: Enslaved in the Babylonian city, Jengi performs Spiritual Rituals to overcome his Nightmares of the Urban Insects, Rain Snakes and Psychedelic Frogs. He Drums on Wood, snaps his Tongue and forgets Language. Jengi is living a Dark Psychedelic Nightmare from which he cannot set his Soul Free... that nightmare is Älforjs.


The album consists of two long tracks. How are they made? Is it live recorded music or edited and layered? 

It is live recorded in the sense that we are all playing at the same time in the same studio room (A Bruxa - the witch -in Alentejo). Both pieces have composed rhythms and riffs and we improvise around them.   

The rhythm is very dominant... Everybody in the band also plays percussion. Why does percussion have such a big role in the band?

In the next one we will all play the violin. 

There are various kinds of percussions: Can-like "kraut rhythms", Don Cherry-like tribal rhythm, industrial looped rhythms, and so on. What can you tell us about the use of various of rhythm spectrum and the possibilities that can be done?

We listen and enjoy all those mentioned references. For this record the common theme was to find ways to keep a pulse immersive.

© Shelley Barradas

We first got in touch 5 years ago. I have the impression that Portugal has changed a lot since. Is  that your impression too?  

First, allow me to mention that the European austerity, in most cases, is nothing compared to most world problems. We are three middle class white males with a privileged life. In that context we believe that choosing and constructing the life you want to live is a political attitude. 

Did Lisbon change?

Lisbon is changing fast, young local people are leaving the country and tourism is overcrowding the city. Gentrification is spreading hard. Despite all that, the underground music scene is better and more eclectic than ever. There has never been more interesting music than these days.



Interview by Joeri Bruyninckx/2016
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Highway interview with Steve Murphy


Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about the Highway group and your musical history! The 1975 album has been a favorite of mine for some time, after finding it in my hunt for obscure 1970s self-released rock albums. I was immediately drawn in by the cover and the ethereal, rural rock vibes it contains, as well as the fine guitar work and songwriting. 

Thanks Josh, I am very proud of the Highway album and have great memories of the work that went into making it. We were playing all songs from the album at most of our shows so when we came to the studio we were prepared. It took two days to record which if not for a tape machine break down we would have probably had the basic tracks done in the first day. Of course we went back and spent time on the mixing etc. at a later date. 


When and where were you born, and what got you started to play music? Was guitar the first instrument you picked up?

I was born in Blue Earth Minnesota on June 20th 1949, the youngest of six kids. When I was in 2nd grade the family moved to a farm by Fairmont MN, growing up and working on a farm was a great way to live. I come from a family of singers and our mother played piano, she was very musical. We would all gather around the piano and sing along as she played. At age 12 I came to the conclusion that I had to have a guitar and from the moment on I knew what I wanted to do the rest of my life... 

What musical influences did you have growing up? 

Besides my parents love for music I also remember listening to Les Paul and Mary Ford on the radio, I didn't realize at the time that it was them but later on in life after hearing them I knew. So I know I liked the sound of the guitar at a very early age. One of my older brothers Mike was a guitar player and he had one of the first rock bands in our area, must have been late 50's. They would practice at the farm and the cars would be lined up and down our long driveway just to hear them practice. They would play at county fairs and other events and the people in those days just flocked to see them. I know that was a big influence and exposure for me and it certainly made a huge impression on me. When I mentioned having to have a guitar at age 12, there was an electric Supro in our attic. It was my brother's and he had just bought a new Fender Duo Sonic. One of his band members had taken the bridge off of the Supro for another guitar. I kept asking my parents about it and finally they took it to a repair guy and $7.50 later I had the guitar. So I really have my brother Mike and my parents to thank for helping me get started and as I said earlier I knew this was going to be what I would be doing from then on. After about a year of playing the Supro my brother bought a new Fender Jaguar and he gave me his Fender Duo Sonic. Guitar instrumentals were big in those days, Duane Eddy, Link Wray, The Ventures to name a few.

What was the first band you were in? 

The first attempt at putting a band together never got off the ground. I got together with some guys to form a band and I was very excited about it. Went to the first practice and no one even took their guitars out of the case and they just started playing pool. I was very disappointed but at that point I knew I had to find the right like minded people. 

The first real band was The Volcanoes, we had shirts with the band name on the back and our names on the front and we wore the same white slip on tennis shoes. We played our first paying job at the local youth center and a few high school dances. Some members had to leave the band so I was back trying to put another one together. I got a call for a school dance and I ended up getting some guys together and we called ourselves The Centuries and that band ended up changing its name to The Pacers in probably 1964 or 65.

I read about The Pacers & The Corvaires on your website, and I understand you were in The Epicureans for quite a while before Highway... How did they come to be?

In late 1965, there were two main bands in Fairmont: The Corvaires and The Pacers. The Corvaires were losing their guitar player to the service, so they asked myself and Phil Messerli, the keyboard player from The Pacers, to join them and we became The Epicureans. The Epicureans did very well playing many of the Ballrooms in a 4 state area which were really the places to be in those days. In 1966 we recorded our first 45 record at IGL Studio in Milford Iowa (“Baby Be Mine” b/w “I Don’t Know Why I Cry“). Then in 1970 I think it was, we recorded our 2nd 45 record (“Break Out And Run” b/w “Blue Side Of Lonely”) in Winona MN at Universal Audio. There is a lot of history here with style changes as far as places we played and music we played. All thru my history I have always been concentrating on writing and playing original material. In 1971 or so we changed the bands name to HIGHWAY. It went from a 5 piece to a 4 piece to the 3 Piece that recorded the Highway album in 1975. We were playing better venues opening up for bigger name groups etc. Then in around late 1976 because of disco changing the music scene so drastically (which I think the music world still hasn't fully recovered) we disbanded.

By September of 1977 my brother Mike and I put together The Murphy Brothers Band which is still going strong today. 


The Epicureans singles are wonderful! "I Don't Know Why I Cry" from 1966 has a ringing, Byrds-influenced riff, and "Break Out And Run" from 1970 has shades of the Nazz and Iron Butterfly… 

When we were getting ready to record our first 45 in 1966 some of the band members were collectively trying to write songs. I was working on my own and it ended up they liked the song I wrote which was “I Don’t Know Why I Cry” I was 15 at the time. When we recorded that song @ IGL (Iowa Great Lakes) Studio, there was a music store on the front of the building and a Studio in the back. There was a new Fender 12 string electric in the window and we borrowed the 12 string and added it to the record which really helped set the mood for the songs.


We recorded a couple more sessions at IGL over the years between the two 45’s that we did. So there are tapes that never turned into records but are still preserved and show the era and changes in the sound that we went through.


The 2nd 45 “Break Out And Run” was really the turning point in our music. The Epicureans had come up through the English invasion which influenced the clothes that we wore to the length of our hair. We went from wearing suits on stage and shorter haircuts to long hair and totally different appearance. So the 2nd 45 was really the beginning of an entire new era. We went from playing what was on the radio to what was on vinyl albums.


We were playing songs from groups like Deep Purple, The Vanilla Fudge and Procol Harum, anything with more of a musical challenge and deeper involvement, at the same time still working on writing our own original music. Later, groups like The Allman Brothers and Wishbone Ash were big influences.


Would you like to do a track-by-track analysis for the Highway album?

The Highway Album Songs:

“Too Many Changes”

To this day this song seems to be the one song people comment consistently on and I think many identify with Highway. In the years leading up to the recording of the album the band which, at one time was up to a 6 piece, lived in the same farm house. Lots of activity and lots of changes, people came and people went. The farm house burned to the ground when we were playing about 100 miles from home one night. Shortly after that I had my nose broken by a soon to be ex lead singer. This is one of the few tunes that I had written that the band was playing at the time. After we went 3 piece I rearranged the song and wrote some different lyrics.

“Look Away”

I have always been an optimist and this song certainly is about that. Trying to encourage the better days to come and of course the instrumental part of the song is very important to me. The guitar solo on this song is one of my favourite parts of the album.

“Pegasus”

I have been an instrumental guy from the beginning back to the days when that is what most guitar players played. So it is only right that a couple of these would pop up. It was ironic because after naming the song and when the album came out there were two or three major records that came out with a picture of a Pegasus on them, must just have been the right time for all that. This song starts like a flying horse would take off and same with the landing like one.

“Seems To Me”

This is my spiritual song and a personal one for me. It is more like a prayer than anything yet tactful enough not to scare anyone away. It is just my thought on what is wrong with the world and wishing it could be different.

“Just To Be With You” 

This was the only song that I didn't write on the record. I always enjoyed playing guitar on the song. There were some comments over the years about the thundering drums on this song and I would have to agree with that.

Side 2

“Brightside”

My optimistic attitude came out in this one. When the Highway 3 piece started, original music was our number one priority. I had written “Brightside” shortly before this time and it really came from the frustration of prior members who seem to be afraid of original music. This was a positive anthem about getting yourself together and get to it. One of my favourites and The Murphy Brothers Band has been playing this song all through the years and is on our 2007 Synergy CD.

“Meadow”

This is an artsy song that plays out in my mind every time I hear it or play it. It is all about getting away from where you don’t want to be and escape to a perfect place. I have always tried to balance songs with enough guitar parts and themes to keep it interesting for player and listener.

“Slip Away”

This instrumental is almost like an Irish jig but wasn't intended to be. I love playing it and it is a great finger exercise and always a challenge to play.

“Tomorrow”

The beginning of this song was recorded on a classical guitar but I would play the part on an electric when we played live. A classical type beginning and maybe an attempt at blending a classical feel with rock. The song itself is about not letting today make you feel helpless because there is always tomorrow and an instant do over.


I noticed you have a Goldtop Les Paul with P-90s played through Marshalls and Fender... What gear did you use?


Yes I used a 1969 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top with P-90 pickups and a Blackface 1965 Fender Vibrolux and I still have both today. The only effects that I used in those days was a Electro Harmonix LPB 1 which is a line booster and sometimes a Maestro Phase Shifter like on the end of “Brightside”.


I lean towards more of the clean sound but of course with the booster overdriving a bit. I still use LPB 1 and LPB 2 boosters today and I prefer the old ones. When we played live I would use more than just one amp, usually a 1964 Fender Bassman and bottom on one side and the 1965 Fender Vibrolux on my side. I carried an extra guitar, a 1973 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst Deluxe with Mini Humbuckers, which I also still have today. I haven’t changed much in my approach to playing and I enjoy it even more now than I did ever.


Original Highway vinyl are quite rare and collectable now. How many copies were pressed, and how did it feel when you started being approached by collectors?

The original 1975 vinyl pressing was 500 copies. After the band stopped playing I figured as far as the Highway Project went our time had ended. I gave away many albums to friends etc. and then in the 80’s I started getting phone calls and letters and then emails about people wanting to buy the album. The value just kept going up. I had some albums but not as many as I would have had if I hadn't given them away and I wasn't going to ask for them back. I heard from all over the world on this record and it was unbelievable that just 500 copies had traveled so far. In 1991 I re-released the Highway material on CD with 4 bonus tracks and still selling them today.


The album was bootlegged in the early 90’s which helped further the legacy of the work but they took all musician names and credits off the identical cover art. Then in 2013 I found there was a bootlegged copy of the CD with the bonus tracks which appears to be out of Australia? The cover of that one is like a record cardboard sleeve, both of these just a sham. 


Why would anyone want a bootlegged copy of the Highway music when you can get something exactly or better than the original?


Any words on the new vinyl reissue?


There really are only 3 releases of the Highway album that are authentic:
1. The original vinyl album 1975
2. The original CD with 4 bonus tracks 1991
3. The new re-release on vinyl 2016

That is what is so exciting about the new re-release of the vinyl, why would you want a bootlegged copy when you can get something just like the original.

550 numbered copies of the re-issue Highway album. 
Cover by Stoughton Printing with old style tip on covers
Printed record sleeve with song lyrics and pictures.
Re-mastered by John Golden Mastering from original tapes
Pressed at RTI Record Technology Incorporated on 180 gram vinyl

I am very proud of this re-issue.


Thanks so much for your time, Steve! For anyone wondering, I got a copy of the new reissue and it sounds fantastic. Is there anything else you'd like listeners to know?

In closing I would like to say Thank You to everyone who supports music on this level and keeps it alive. Without this group of individuals the music might never have had the chance to surface. It is very rewarding to know the number of people out there that have supported this album and this music. I am very grateful and appreciative of all of you.

A special Thanks to Josh Robertson for the support of this Highway Re-issue.

Steve Murphy
Highway

Interview by Josh Robertson/2016
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2016