Customer Comment quoted from "An Open Forum" at Barnes & Noble.com
Number of Reviews: 1 Average Rating: 5 Star
Richard Flynn--disc jokey &
music reviewer in Perth Australia,
Woodstock Rock RTR-FM 92.1 Australia
The Bards - the Moses Lakes Recordings ( Gearfab - 183 ) Dere's gold in dem, dar vaults!! And Gearfab has definitely struck gold with this previously unreleased psych / pop gem from 1969!! Take one Pacific North - West band, tightened by many years of gigging together, while writing & perfecting their original material while '' on the road''; combine them with one of the most clever & professional productions teams from L.A. ( Curt Boettcher & Keith Olsen ), & you end up with a killer pop album! It is a pity that it has taken 33 years to get it released, but this due to the financial hazards of the recording industry. The Bards comprised of Mardig Sheridan on guitar, Mike Balzotti on keyboards, & the absolute lethal rhythm section of Chuck Warren, bass, & Bob Galloway on drums. All members sing on the album, which suits Curt Boettcher, whose vocal arrangements with the Millenium, Association & the Ballroom & Sagittarius projects, is legendary. Another production ace up the Boettcher / Olsen sleeve was the ability to fade up either big bass and / or drum pieces, to maximise a sound effect. The Millenium's '' The Know It All'' is a classic piece of this technique. There are similar mixings on this album, with obvious examples contained on '' Moses'' & ''Oobleck''. Simply brilliant stuff!! Other outstanding tracks on this release are ''Loredo'', ''Relunctantly & Slow'' ( which is very reminiscent of Crowded House's '' Sister Madly'', which was recorded over 20 years later!! ), & ''Hollow Men''. But the outstanding track is ''The Creation'', a collage of poetry & music concerning mankinds' genesis on Earth, spoken & played beautifully by the band, but also linked brilliantly together as a cohesive piece by Boettcher & Olsen, with special effects, used to great effect, between songs!! I am listening to this cd ( Yet again!! ), as I write, & it would be remiss of me NOT to mention the remastering of the tapes done by Paul Speer. The songs sound like 1969, but the overall production sound is very much 21st Century quality. It is worth hocking your Mother -in -law to buy this release, & if you do, play it LOUD!!! It is a far more pleasurable pastime than actually listening to your beloved Mother -in -law!!
All Music Guide
It took over thirty years to shake loose The Moses Lake Recordings, yet another Curt Boettcher-Keith Olsen production, from the befuddled chaos of 1960s rock. The album is obscure even by the producers' normal standards. It is also atypical of almost everything else for which the pair was responsible. The main reason for the anomaly is, of course, the Bards itself, a band not only drastically different from any other combo out of the Pacific Northwest but staggeringly unique in the genre. Boettcher and Olsen, in turn, responded with an equally idiosyncratic production, experimenting with buoyant horn charts and early synthesizer washes. Their characteristic touch is most evident in the harmony arrangements, but the music is considerably more aggressive than any of their other work. That is partly attributable to the Bards' garage roots, which shine through in the ragged fuzz guitars, barrelhouse keyboard runs and the unstinting toughness of the quartet's playing. On the other hand, this is not garage in any normal sense of the word. The album, in fact, doesn't come within miles of colliding with normal. It is one of the most off-the-wall relics of the era, a convergence of garage rock, boogie grooves, weird bubblegum and seriously funky pop/rock. Chief amongst its oddities are the songs themselves, which tend to defy any, let alone easy, classification. The fabulous "Laredo" flows from a spoken-word segment into a flirtatious battle between the lead guitar and collective group scatting. "Oobleck" somehow squeezes black magic, Seussian wordplay, seriously bad mojo and jubilant harmonies into a deranged, two-and-a-half-minute psychedelic singalong. "Reluctantly and Slow" segues from jazzy beatnik rhythms into discordant, gothic gospel and back to finger-snapping cool. And it's impossible to know what to even consider, much less call, the album's centerpiece, the 14-minute, seven-part "The Creation." A mini-rock opera? A conceptual suite? A progressive acid epic? A stoned rewriting of Genesis? Needless to say, it encapsulates in microcosm all that is eccentric about the album as a whole. Which is not to suggest that the album deserved its obscurity, only that it is no surprise that a record label of the day would have passed on releasing it, so willfully non-commercial, non-mainstream it is. Garage purists might come away from the album unsatisfied-there is no "Louie Louie" here, no "The Witch." Nevertheless, The Moses Lake Recordings is an awesome lost gem, always fascinating and often astoundingly good. Even at its most bizarre, it is packed, sometimes a dozen to the song, with ideas. By Stanton Swihart
By: Beverly Paterson, The
Artist: The Bards
Title: The Moses Lake Recordings
Label: Gear Fab Records (www.swiftsite.com/gearfab)
"The Bards were primarily a pop band, but as evidenced on 'The Moses Lake Recordings,' they boldly experimented with novel forms and were just as daring as their underground psychedelic scented counterparts."
Those tuned into regional sixties music are probably already hip to the Bards, a band from the state of Washington that let loose a string of singles between the years 1966 and 1971. "Never Too Much Love," "The Owl And The Pussycat" and a cover of the Who's "My Generation" are perhaps their best known endeavors. 1967 saw the Bards assemble a full-length album, but it was sadly aborted and rusted in the vaults for more than ten years before it actually surfaced on vinyl. However, the Bards conceived a cache of further material after their album was nixed because the Gear Fab label just released "The Moses Lake Recordings" that includes tracks from 1968. That was the year the band headed down to Los Angeles and met with a pair of prestigious musicians and producers, Curt Boettcher (the Association, Sagittarius, Millennium) and Keith Olsen (the Music Machine, Sagittarius), and trekked into the studio to craft yet another album. What resulted from these sessions was "The Moses Lake Recordings," which also went nowhere and was left for dead in the can. Well, the long lost tapes have finally been revived and here's the package!
What especially makes "The Moses Lake Recordings" so positively enterprising is the twenty minute rock opera, "The Creation," that emerges on the latter half of the disc. Alive with spiritual drama surrounded by mounds of progressive structures and arrangements, the mind-blowing performance displays how adept and comfortable the Bards were when it came to going that extra mile.
"The Moses Lake Recordings" is saturated with infectious rumblings, piloted by bristling keyboard figures, incisive guitar chords and pints of frisky melodies. Aside from being proficient and exciting instrumentalists, the Bards also burn brightly on vocals, checking in with layer upon layer of angelic harmony practices. Give a listen to the charming bubblegum touches of "Rainy Days I Had With You," and you'll be wondering why in the heck this supremely gripping song wasn't a top forty hit single.
Now that the Gear Fab label has resurrected "The Moses Lake Recordings," I encourage them to reissue the first album from the Bards and maybe even a collection of their cool singles!
Click this link to see The
Creation charted #8 on their "Alternate Top 10" ("Anti-Hit"