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History of Boston Rock
     History of Boston Rock & Roll - Chapter 19 - Boston For The Record: Part 2

(c) 1973 - David Bieber

For all of you who have followed the history thus far, this is an excellent discography of the Boston scene from 1960-1973(13 of the 19 years we've covered). It was written by David Bieber in 1973 and is reprinted with his permission. Some of the discs can be found in local oldies and used stores around town.

1970-73 Rock

No longer standing in the shadow of hype, a number of recent Boston rock releases are strong and independent, neither backdrop scenery nor striving to be part of a scene. Brightest hopes include the recently Warner Bros.-signed Modern Lovers, James Montgomery, who will be recording for Capricorn, and Chris Rhodes, Jon Pousette-Dart and Reeve Little, as yet free agents.

1. Swallow (Out of the Nest, Swallow - Warner Brothers): From bird imagery to the big throat, it's Swallow with brass, the soul man voice of George Leh and the various mouths of Swallow bandsmen, putting air into horns and giving music a self-controlled power seldom heard anywhere.

2. Chick Corea (Light As A Feather - Polydor, Tunes - Vortex): This extraordinary Chelsea pianist creates beautiful moods for varying tastes. His newest band is Return to Forever and includes Brasilian percussionist Airto and bassist Stanley Clarke.

3. Seatrain (Seatrain - A&M, Seatrain, Marblehead Messenger - Capitol, Watch - Warner Brothers): Many closely watched tracks from a band that to varying extents grew out of the Blues Project, almost broke out of the forgotten phase with " 1 3 Questions, " was produced and abandoned by George Martin, and lost Richard Greene, but regained "Flute Thing" in their latest Warner release.

4. Milkwood (How's The Weather - Paramount): A Somerville collection of three, Rick Otcasek on acoustic guitar, Jas. Goodkind, lead acoustic and electric guitars, and bassist/percussionist Benjamin Orzechowski. The harmonies are pleasant, and this debut is more than an invitation to the expectation of the next album than a total fulfillment this time out. Local appearances range from the Speakeasy to the Nameless Coffeehouse.

5. J. Geils Band (J. Geils Band, Morning After, Full House, Bloodshot- Atlantic): And now all the little ladies of the night have four elpeas to turn their heads and tables. After many years of Mornings After, these flashmakers/salesmakers/musicmakers are now top-billed and still climbing. From '67's Hallucinations and a blues depth bordering on the black, the Geils band was born. It's been nothing but power plays ever since, with albums two and four being the strongest numbers and red being the favorite color.

6. Andy Pratt (Andy Pratt - Polydor, Columbia): Andy's latest album and especially "Avenging Annie," the single from it, display a controlled f renzy calculated to put you in the middle of his music without quite knowing how you arrived. The effect is sometimes a bewildered excitement, almost akin to Larry Verne asking, "What Am I Doing Here?" but in this instance, pleased to be in the position of posing the question.

7. John Compton, Robin and Dick Batteau (Apaloosa, Compton and Batteau, Batteaux - Columbia): School friends who have created for Columbia on and off for four tours. Al Kooper was the initial producer, but now the three have moved to California and have considerable more freedom. In a song of foreshadowing, "California Girl" is strongly recommended on the Compton and Batteau LP. Generally strong melodies but weaker lyrics.

8. Gross National Productions (P-Flaps and Low Blows - Metromedia): A fine rock and raunch music, theater and comedy horn band if there ever was one. Unfortunately, they signed with a label more intent on giving $10,000 promotional parties based on irrelevant decadence than doing local field work to broaden awareness of the group. Definitely worthy of another album, assuming they're functioning as a band. In 1971, "Tonight, GNP" was the upper Boylston St. Unicorn reading for the entire summer. The work became apparent with this album.

9. Paul Pena (Paul Pena - Capitol): A former Tea Council contest winner, this album did not truly represent the man as he can be live. Recently cut-out by Capitol, Pena still remains the pride of lntermedia Studios, has been doing session work and should be gathering material for the second release.

10. Aerosmith (Aerosmith - Columbia): The thin line between rouge and rock is played for all its duality by these sometimes Stones posers who have many of the appropriate moves, the direct-steal sound of the Yardbird's "Stroll On" and some better than average original material, The band's own sense of artist accomplishment should be a goal, however.

More Rockers 1970-73: Apple Pie Motherhood Band, Bead Game, Black Pearl; Brother Fox and the Tar Baby, Clean Living, Cynara. Eagle, Far Cry, Tom Gamach (Uncle T), Norman Greenbaum, Guns and Butter; A Harvard Square Affair, Jimmy Helms, Modern Lovers, James Montgomery. Orphan, Quill, Rowan Brothers, Sha Na Na, Sidewinders; Spirit In Flesh, Steely Dan, Sugar Creek, Wild Thing.

1960-67 Folk

That a club can be a subject of discussion and misty-eyed conversation years after its shuttering is a testimony to the importance of the role it played. Club 47 was located where the Passim Coffeeshop is now situated. With careful and judicious booking, Bob Donlon of Passim's has done much to rekindle the Club 47 spirit. Club 47 belonged to a different time warp, a casual but dedicated period of Dylan, Baez, the Farinas and music that spoke directly to causes, conflicts and yet was casual enough to allow for love. Cambridge and Boston created Club 47 and in general, fostered a folk scene that had the rest of the nation looking and listening our way. What follows are select artist and significant albums from those days.

1. Jackie Washington (New Folks, Gentle Rain - Vanguard).

2. Tom Rush (Got A Mind To Ramble - Prestige, Circle Game, Classic - Elektra, Merrimac County - Columbia).

3. Joan Baez (Live in Harvard Square - Veritas: Joan Baez,) Vol. 2, Number 5 In Concert Vol. I and II, Blessed Are, First 10 Years - Vanguard; Come From the Shadows; Where Are You Now, My Son - A&M)

4. Richard and Mimi Farina (Richard and Mimi Farina, Reflections, Memories -Vanguard: Mimi Farina and Tom Jans (Take Heart - A&M)

5. Rising Sons, featuring Ry Cooder and Tal Mahal (Rising Sons - Columbia).

6. Tom Lehrer (That Was The Year That Was, An Evening Wasted With, Songs by Tom Lehrer - Reprise/Lehrer).

7. Joshua Rifkin (Even Dozen Jug Band, Baroque Beatles Book, Piano Rags by Scott Joplin, Piano Rags by Scott Joplin, Vol. II - Nonesuch).

8. Spider John Koerner (Blues, Rags and Hollers; Running, Jumping, Standing Still - Elektra, Music Is Just a Bunch Of Notes - Mary Jane).

9. Geoff and Maria (D'Amato) Muldaur (Sleepy Man Blues - Prestige, Pottery Pie, Sweet Potatoes - Reprise).

10. Jim Kweskin (Jump for Joy, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Relax Your Mind- Vanguard, Garden of Joy - Reprise); The Lyman Family (American Avatar - Reprise).

1960-67: Eric Anderson, David Blue (Cohen), Marshall Brickman, Hamilton Camp, Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra; Charles River Valley Boys, Paul Clayton, Ry Cooder, Even Dozen Jug Band. Mitch Greenhill, Caroline Hester, Bill Keith and Jim Rooney; Lilly Brothers, Taj Mahal, Tom Paley, Buffy St. Marie. Mark Spoelstra, Don Stover, Dave Van Ronk, Erick Von Schmidt, Eric Weisberg.

1967-73 Folk

As the decade ended, James Taylor was referring to his Apple relations as "the same old craperoo. " His difficulties in receiving the attention and consideration he so justly deserved were indicative of record industry lethargy and conniving thievery which had strangulated the previous folk scene, and further resulted in the disintegration of much of rock as well. Later, James was to reopen many of the folk channels, as well as new ones, and suddenly, and again, from Bonnie Raitt to Martin Mull, the solo, listenable artist emerged from Boston-Cambridge.

1. Jessie Colin Young (Soul of A City Boy - Capitol, Together - Raccoon); Youngbloods (Elephant Mountain - RCA, Rock Festival, Ride the Wind, High on a Ridge Top - Raccoon).

2. JamesTaylor (James Taylor - Apple; Sweet Baby James, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, One Man Dog - Warner Brothers).

3. Livingston Taylor (Livingston Taylor, Live - Capricorn); Alex Taylor (Dinnertime - Capricorn); Kate Taylor (Sister Kate - Cotillion).

4. Chris Smither (I'm A Stranger Too, Don't Drag It On - Poppy).

5. Martin Mull (Martin Mull, Martin Mull and his Fabulous Furniture - Capricorn).

6. Bill Staines (Bill Staines - Evolution).

7. Bonnie Raitt (Bonnie Raitt, Give It Up - Warner Bros.).

8. Jaime Brockett (Remember The Wind And The Rain, 2 - Oracle/Capitol).

9. Jonathan Edwards (Jonathan Edwards, Honky-Tonk Stardust Cowboy - Atco).

10. Michael Hurley (Armchair Boogie, Hi Fi Snock Uptown - Raccoon/Warner Brothers).

More Folk 1967-73: Luther Allison, Blue Velvet Band, Chambers Brothers, Pam and Ray Clayton, Dick Curliss; Tommy Flanders, Paul Geremia, Great Metropolitan Steam Band, Henry Groce. Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Langhorne, Leonda, Dave Loggins, Bill Madison; Bob Martin, Nancy Michaels, Bruce McPherson, Loudon Wainwright III.

Boston Jazz briefly: Ron Black, Jaki Byard, Gary Burton, Paul Gonzales, Bobby Hackett; Roy Haynes, Quincy Jones, Joe Newmen, Pat O'Day, Herb Pomeroy.

Roger Powell, Sam Rivers, Cecil Taylor, George Wein, Tony Williams.

Middle-Of-The-Road: Ames Brothers, Ed Ames, Pete Condoli, Ray Coniff , Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass; Georgia Gibbs, Glenn Gray, Jackie and Roy Kral, Toddy King.

Vaughn Monroe, Jane Morgan, Dick Summer, Jerry Vale, Bobby Wayne.

Local Comics: Fred Allen, Orson Bean, Bob and Ray, Jerry Colona, Pat Cooper; Bill Dana (Jose Jimenez), Pat Harrington Jr., Hudson and Landry.

Jimmy Joyce, Pat Martino, Tom Poston, Arnold Stang, Rusty Warren.

This article originally appeared in The Beat in 1985
(c) Charles William White III

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