Special #?

Califonia Folk Rock 2

Sorta Dylan

After doing an earlier show that featured a mono copy of the first Jefferson Airplane album, and some related sounds from northern California, I wanted to do a show that featured more of the same, plus some hits, more wonders most people have not heard and the 'Dylan effect'. There are four Dylan 'covers' in the first set, and three of them were hits, although the Grass Roots cover was not a big hit.

The Shindogs were the house band of the TV show, Shindig. Joey Cooper, James Burton and Delaney Bramlett played guitars, though Bramlett tended to play bass, Glen D. Hardin was on keyboards and Chuck Blackwell drummed. This was a VERY formidable line-up, though they only made two 45's. Their debut on Warner Brothers opens the set and is distinctively folk rock with a tinge of Bakersfield country-honky-tonk.

Cher starts the Dylan parade. Her version of All I Really Want To Do was her first big hit, with production and assistance from Sonny Bono, it reached top 15 in the US and broke the top 10 in the UK. It is a great record of its kind and time. I am playing an original 45 and it has lots of presence and edge.

The Turtles continue with a big early Dylan hit, and the 'original' Grass Roots follow with their cover of Ballad Of A Thin Man, which they named Mr Jones. The first set concludes with another Turtles folk rock based hit and then a little known, wonderful version of Dylan’s She Belongs To Me by Jimmy Gilmer, who is usually associated with and damned by his biggest hit, Sugar Shack. Everything is from at least 1965, so Gilmer was a bit ahead of the times, even if nobody much listened or cared back in the day.

The next set revisits the Beau Brummels, opening with their label mates, The Tikis. The final 45 by the Tikis was issued on Autumn and Warner Brothers when they were signed to that label, and two different versions of Bye Bye Bye graced the WB release. One version is very Beau Brummels influenced and the other not so much. I like them both, so here they are sandwiching the flip side.

The final Autumn single from the Beau Brummels follows, and then two cuts left over from those sessions which were bought by the Vault label. Vault issued previously released and un-issued material on album; these two cuts are from Vol 44 on the Vault label.

The other folk rock show featured, besides the Jefferson Airplane, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. The Airplane and Conspiracy featured fantastic female singers, and with the inclusion of Cher bring diversity and musical difference to the show. The concluding set begins with the group that the Peanut Butter Conspiracy grew out of and later reverted to, The Ashes. They had 45's on the label and were included on an album that featured west coast psyche-folk, though The Chambers Brothers don’t quite fit this and were included. The Ashes do a convincing reading of the Jackie DeShannon-Nick DeCaro and a fine job on Every Little Prayer as well.

The Beau Brummels were not the only California band to cover John Sebastian and the Lovin’ Spoonful, since the Gary Usher associated Hondells charted with an interesting reading of Younger Girl. This is followed by a version of Time Is After You which the Peanut Butter Conspiracy recorded for Vault before the much better known one on Columbia.

The music ends with two gorgeous, but not well known 45 sides from early 1966. This version of Shades of Gray, which seems destined to be associated with the Monkees, is the original, and it is everything many folk rock fans demand, beautifully singing of a great and poignant song with equally poignant and jangly electric guitars. She Reigns, which is now 'legally' entitled And She Reigns, is almost as buoyant as Shades of Gray and perhaps even more bittersweet. On most days it is my favorite Beau Brummels recording, and it is certainly the best of their WB 45's and assorted other recordings. Sal Valentino’s vocal is assured and moving and the band chips in well behind him. Sorry that my 45 is a bit shop-worn.

Set 1

  1. Someday, Someday
  2. Why?
  3. All I Really Want To Do
  4. It Ain’t Me Babe
    The Turtles
  5. Mr. Jones (Ballad of a Thin Man)
  6. You’re A Lonely Girl
    The Grass Roots
  7. Let Me Be
    The Turtles

Set 2

  1. She Belongs To Me
  2. Bye Bye Bye
    Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
  3. Lost My Love Today
  4. Bye Bye Bye
    The Tikis
  5. Good Time Music
  6. Gentle Wandering Ways
  7. Fine With Me
    The Beau Brummels

Set 3

  1. Is There Anything I Can Do ?
  2. Every Little Prayer
    The Ashes
  3. Younger Girl
  4. Time Is After You
    Peanut Butter Conspiracy
  5. Shades of Gray
  6. She Reigns
    The Beau Brummels


Posted on July 18, 2013 .