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✨✧ Mike HarrisonMike Harrison/Smokestack Lightning/Rainbow Rider ... CD
Island/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Three overlooked albums by British singer Mike Harrison – all brought together in a single set! First up is the self-titled Mike Harrison – a wonderful solo debut from the singer who made Spooky Tooth sound so great on their albums, maybe even sounding better here on his own! The album is clearly conceived and put together by Mike – with backup help from The Junkyard Band, who underscore the yearning, earnest qualities in his vocals – spun out with a snakey, raspy charm, with a sound that's maybe a more intimate take on territory explored by Procol Harum. The songs are great, and the whole record has a quality level that really attests to the all-great quality of Island Records at this point – with tracks that include "Pain", "Lonely People", "Mother Nature", "Call It A Day", "Damian", and "Wait Until The Morning". Smokestack Lightning is great solo work from Mike Harrison, ex-Spooky Tooth – a fantastic singer who should have been huge as a solo act – maybe a bit like Colin Blunstone, whose sound with The Zombies was so important, but could never have a huge career on his own – even while he created some wonderful albums in the process! This set's a well-crafted gem through and through – recorded at Muscle Shoals, but with a sound that's free of any of the hoke of those oft-used studios – as instead of bending to southern modes, Harrison uses the ace musicians to underscore some of the depth of his own approach in a really great way. Titles include "Turning Over", "Wanna Be Free", "Tears", "What A Price", and "Paid My Dues". Rainbow Rider has Mike Harrison maybe hitting some harder rock territory than before, with some roots rock moments – more a part of the overall sound of the group, and with some pretty heavy guitars up there in the lead – which seems to bring out a very different quality in Mike's vocals. Titles include "Okay Lay Lady Lay", "Like A Road Leading Home", "Maverick Woman Blues", "You & Me", "I'll Keep It With Mine", and "Friend". CD

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousAnn Arbor Blues Festival 1969 ... CD
Third Man, 1969. New Copy 2 CDs ... $18.99 19.98
A fantastic document of the first-ever Ann Arbor Blues Festival – the start of a great event that would blossom into other styles of music in the 70s, but which stood as a strong blues-based event in its initial year of 1969! In some ways, the three day series of concerts is a roots answer to Woodstock – which took place just a few weeks before – as the festival featured a great scope of blues talents, from the rootsier sort of artists who were recording for labels like Folkways or Arhoolie, to some of the sharper modern talents rising to the top on Chess or Delmark! The package alone is almost worth the price of admission – beautiful photographs of the event, detailed notes, and the first-ever release of this music – which has sat in the vaults for decades, finally to see the light of day. Titles include "Dirty Mother For You" by Roosevelt Sykes, "So Glad You're Mine" by Arthur Big Boy Crudup, "Everybody Must Suffer/Stone Crazy" by Luther Allison & The Blue Nebulae, "Help Me" by Junior Wells, "I Wonder Why" by Jimmy Dawkins, "Too Much Alcohol" by JB Hutto & His Hawks, "So Many Roads So Many Trains" by Otis Rush, "Long Distance Call" by Muddy Waters, "Off The Wall" by James Cotton Band, "Juanita" by Big Joe Williams, "Jelly Jelly Blues" by Shirley Griffin, "I Feel So Good" by Magic Sam, "Call It Stormy Monday" by T-Bone Walker, "Death Letter Blues" by Son House, "Key To The Highway" by Sam Lay, and "Mojo Hand" by Lightnin Hopkins. CD
 
 
 



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