Friday, January 30, 2009

Welcome To The Jungle

While we´re waiting for the onset of spring, here´s some jungle exotica to warm your bones a little bit. A probably not very politically correct but highly entertaining genre that was quite popular in the late fifties and early sixties, jungle exotica dealt with African rhythms, fake Arabian melodies, surf guitars and Chinese exclamations amongst others. ´Ah so!´ Silly, but a lot of fun. The Jungle Exotica albums on the no-holds-barred Crypt label are chock-a-block with this kind of amazing novelty treasure, so if you dig the examples below go do yourself a favour and camel walk it to your local record store as soon as you possibly can.

My personal faves? The wonderfully monikered Tarantula Ghoul & The Gravediggers of course. "First blind date was a big hairy ape with sideburns to his knees, couldn't rock, couldn't roll, but man how he could squeeze..." Right on. Go ape, y´all.

Tarantula Ghoul & The Gravediggers - King Kong MP3
The Valiants - Don´t Wanna Leave The Congo MP3
Jan Davis - Snow Surfin´ Matador MP3
The Gaylads - Ah So! MP3
Saxons - Camel Walk MP3

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This is one weird album. ´Pastor and wife join voices in sacred folk songs for All Ages´ it says on the beautiful sleeve of Welcome To The Welcome Wagon (´08). There´s a bible pictured there too, with a cross and the written legend ´To Comfort You´ on it. Maybe I´m a bit naive, but just for a moment I thought the Welcome Wagon´s debut album would be some tongue in cheek, indie style gospel album. You know, camp. What else would you expect from a record on a label that calls itself Asthmatic Kitty?

But behold, I soon found out the overt Christian message here is as serious as it can possibly get. The minds behind the Welcome Wagon are the Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique. The good Reverend attended Princeton Theological Seminary to study theology and prepare for ordained ministry. Currently he is the senior pastor of the Resurrection Presbyterian Church, a church he established a few years back in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. Heavy stuff.

To be honest, I usually don´t really dig religious propaganda in music. I can handle the Jesus trip in vintage blues, soul and gospel very well, but as a faithful Bobcat I had enough trouble coming to terms with Dylan´s late seventies/early eighties religious phase for instance. So it´s a small miracle that despite all the preaching going on in every song, the Welcome Wagon immediately drew me in. Why? Because there are some terrific songs to be found here amidst the bible quotations. And let´s not forget the contribution of Sufjan Stevens, who produced and arranged this remarkably warm and soulful album like a modern day cross between Brian Wilson and Phil Spector.

Stevens skilfully added horns, synths and funky backing vocals to what otherwise would probably have been a rather boring, let´s-sit-by-the-campfire-and-praise-the-lord record. To be honest, not every track makes the grade here, and their cover of Jesus is pure sacrilege to a Velvet Underground convert. But when it works, as in the heavenly Sold! To The Nice Rich Man or He Never Said A Mumblin´ Word for instance, the angels are sure to be smiling down. On Christians and atheists alike.

The Welcome Wagon - Sold! To The Nice Rich Man MP3
The Welcome Wagon - He Never Said A Mumblin´ Word MP3

Friday, January 23, 2009

Room, Gin, Microphone

When Sam Charters wanted to record blues legend Lightnin´ Hopkins for the Folkways label in the late fifties, he had quite a bit of trouble to even locate the blues legend, who had more or less stopped playing at the time. One of his cousins, who worked as a cook down in New Orleans, told him to check out Houston, Texas. Lightnin´ just might be living there. In Houston, he only managed to locate Lightnin´s guitar at first... in a pawn shop on Dowling Street.

But word got around that someone was lookin´ for Lightnin´ and the next day Hopkins showed up. Charters first had to convince him he was serious in doing a session, then had to go over to the nearest liquor store to buy the man a nice bottle of gin. In the shabby room Hopkins was renting at the time, Charters had to hold the microphone in his hand, moving it down towards the guitar when a solo was being played, then moving it close enough to Hopkins´ lips again to catch the vocals.

The result of these more than primitive recording conditions? An amazing blues album, originally issued in ´59 as The Roots Of Lightnin´ Hopkins, which spawned a new interest in the Texas maestro´s music during the blues revival of the early sixties. This was acoustic Lightnin´, which turned out to be every inch as impressive as the better known electric Lightnin´ who cut these legendary sides for the Herald label back in ´54 amongst many others.

For proof, just check out the intense Penitentiary Blues from this album - later re-released as just Lightnin´ Hopkins in a Warholian sleeve to die for. "You know I´m gonna do time for another man, ain´t nothin´ poor Lightnin´ done..." What a voice.

Lightnin´ Hopkins - Penitentiary Blues MP3

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rockabilly Rampage

I´ve been enjoying quite a lot of rockabilly lately. Hadn´t played the stuff for years, but right now I´m really digging that fifties madness again like crazy. Honest, deceptively simple music with a slap bass, great vocals drenched in echo and guitars running wild.

The obvious sounds from the Sun label, or from famous names like Gene Vincent or Johnny Burnette´s Rock ´n´ Roll Trio are amazing of course. But I´ve always had a special weakness for those obscure gems as found on compilations like Sin Alley, Desperate Rock ´n´ Roll, Rockin´ Bones, Born Bad and Songs The Cramps Taught Us. Here´s a bunch of them. Go, cat, go.

Bill Allen - Please Give Me Something MP3
Charlie Feathers - It´s Just That Song MP3
Warren Smith - Ubangi Stomp MP3
Glenn Glen - Everybody´s Movin´ MP3
Weldon Rogers - So Long, Good Luck And Goodbye MP3
Jack Scott - The Way I Walk MP3
Kip Tyler - She´s My Witch MP3
Laura Lee Perkins - Don´t Wait Up MP3
Johnny Bucket - Let Me Play Wit' Yo' Poodle MP3

Monday, January 19, 2009

Under The Influence (Slight Return)

Since you guys are obviously interested in the subject, here´s one more piece on Dylan under the influence, inspired by Derek Barker´s recent book (see my post below). Tons of traffic here during the past few days, but disappointingly only one comment... You can do better than that, amigos.

Almost everybody knows Jimi Hendrix once covered a Dylan song with great success, so I´m not even going to mention the title here. But most people don´t realize that Dylan once did a Hendrix-cover as well. They are forgiven though, as it only happened one time, and live in Australia at that.

Dylan first tried out Jimi´s Dolly Dagger at a ´92 rehearsal for the David Letterman show, Barker informs us, after talking with his guitar tech about Hendrix´s sound. It wasn´t performed on the programme though, but it got a one-off live outing two months later in the fair city of Perth, on March 18, ´92. Guitarist John Jackson does a remarkably adequate Hendrix imitiation, while Bob seems to be enjoying himself tremendously on vocals. Look out!

Now I knew from Charles Shaar Murray´s excellent book on Hendrix (Crosstown Traffic) that Dolly Dagger was inspired by New York super-groupie Devon Wilson, who was apparently one of the most important women in Jimi´s short life. On Hendrix´s twenty-seventh birthday party, she walked out of the door with Mick Jagger on her arm. Which just might have been Mick´s revenge, as Hendrix had done his best to lure Marianne Faithfull away from the Stones vocalist just a few years earlier.

Barker offers the following additional information: Jagger apparently cut his finger at said party, and Wilson rushed over to Jagger´s side and sucked his finger until the bleeding stopped. The episode took place in full view of Hendrix, who later wrote the line ´she drinks her blood from a jagged edge...´ in Dolly Dagger. Great stuff.

Jimi Hendrix - Dolly Dagger MP3
Bob Dylan - Dolly Dagger (live Perth ´92 MP3)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Under The Influence

Do we really need another Bob Dylan book? Sure. Especially when an authority like Derek Barker (founder and editor of Dylan magazine Isis) is the author and the subject is one which hasn´t been covered in book form this extensively before. And that´s the case here, as Bob Dylan Under The Influence - The Songs He Didn´t Write is a voluminous encyclopedia on all the songs Dylan chose to cover - live and in the studio - during his long career. Thoroughly researched and well written, it´s an inspiring read.

As Barker says in his commentary on the song Rocks And Gravel: ´Much has been made in recent years of Dylan´s use of blues lyrics within his own songs (on Time Out Of Mind, "Love And Theft" and Modern Times). Wild hysterical accusations of plagiarism have rung out around the world yet Dylan, like countless great blues artists, has employed this approach to his song-writing from day one. In fact, it is the main reason that this book exists. Because not only has Dylan covered the songs in this book, he has also borrowed from and been influenced by many of them. His song-writing would not exist in its present form without the rich heritage of traditional folk and blues music.´ Well said, and very true.

I may have quite a few tomes on Dylan already:

but Under The Influence sure is a valuable addition. It may be a reference book foremost, but true Bobcats will probably read it from A (the entry on A-11 by Hank Cochran) to Y (Your True Love by Carl Perkins). And for those uninitiated in Dylan´s shadow oeuvre, it would make an excellent starting point in collecting all these wonderful live shows that are out there somewhere.

"Come all you old time cowboys and listen to my song...
please do not grow weary, I'll not detain you long,
Concerning some wild cowboys who did agree to go
spend the summer pleasant on the trail of the buffalo..."

Take the entry on Dylan covering the classic traditional Buffalo Skinners (a.k.a. Trail Of The Buffalo). Barker gives a lot of historical background on the song, which is apparently based on a true story. He points out that although variants of this song have been recorded by many artists, Dylan´s original source was undoubtedly Woody Guthrie. He also notes Dylan´s versions feature different dates and settings for this song, ranging from Griffin to Jacksboro, Texas and from ´63, ´65, ´73, ´83 to 1900... Funny. Finally, Barker asks himself the question if it would be possible that Dylan had the ´our trip it was a-pleasant´ line from this song in mind when he wrote ´my trip it hasn´t been a pleasant one´ for his own composition Drifter´s Escape. A splendid observation, which just might be true, too.

Dylan recorded Trail Of The Buffalo for the first time in the East Orange, New Jersey home of the Gleason family - good friends of Woody Guthrie - in early ´61. This, by the way, is the first tape on which Bob can be heard playing the harmonica, although not on this fine take. He later tried the song, now entitled The Hills Of Mexico for some reason, during the famed Basement Tapes sessions in ´67 with The Band. After a false start at the beginning the guys resume the song, but when Dylan stumbles again later he tells Garth Hudson to stop recording as they´re ´just wasting tape´. Shame, as they were just getting a groove going.

Woody Guthrie - Buffalo Skinners MP3
Bob Dylan - Trail Of The Buffalo MP3
Bob Dylan & The Band - The Hills Of Mexico MP3

I´ve always loved the garagy electric-with-band performance of the song Dylan gave in the early days of the Never Ending Tour, on June 10 ´89 in The Hague, a concert I was lucky enough to attend. Yup, that´s the underrated G.E. Smith on guitar. Barker states that although it´s a fine version, he has difficulty listening to Trail Of The Buffalo in an electric setting. I don´t have that problem at all myself (maybe because I saw it live), but I can see where he´s coming from. So let me also include here what Barker calls the ´far better, stunning acoustic rendition´ from West Point on October 13, ´90. You choose.

Bob Dylan - Trail Of The Buffalo (Live The Hague ´89) MP3
Bob Dylan - Trail Of The Buffalo (Live West Point ´90) MP3

"Come gather round me, people, here's a story you never heard,
'bout me and my friends and some shit that occurred..."

As an encore - it´s not mentioned in Barker´s book, and has no place there either - I´ll add Beck´s delightful take on Buffalo Skinners, now called Mexico. Keeping nothing but the melody and story outline, Beck modernizes the tale to hilarious effect. The protagonist is working at a McDonald´s, but gets the sack after a robbery occurs. Together with some pals he first tries to rob a 7-11, which doesn´t work as the clerk pulls out an Uzi, then holds up the same McDonald´s before heading over to Mexico, where things don´t quite work out. His friends call their parents and take the bus back home, while he ends up working for a Mexican McDonald´s. As this one stems from one of Beck´s early lo-fi cassettes, don´t expect great audio quality. I know there´s a better sounding version from a radio show out there: anyone?

Beck - Mexico MP3

Update And we´ve already got a winner... Reader Brad came to the rescue faster than lightning: thanks a mil! So here´s the much better sounding version of Mexico I was looking for, live on KCRW radio.

Beck - Mexico (radio version) MP3

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Poor Boy On The Line

"I left my home in Norfolk Virginia, California on my mind,
straddled that Greyhound, rode him past Raleigh, on across Caroline...."

The Promised Land, or: let´s hear it for a classic song about the American dream. It was written in ´65 by the mighty Chuck Berry, and his recording of course features that trademark guitar you can do the duckwalk to. In the tradition of Bobby Troup´s Route 66 or James Brown´s Night Train, the clever lyrics mention a load of cities as stopovers on the way to the promised land: sunny California. A cynic might call this Chuck-by-numbers, and it sure is no Maybelline, but it definitely beats My Ding-A-Ling.

"Straight off I bought me a through train ticket, ridin' cross Mississippi clean,
and I was on that midnight flyer out of Birmingham, smokin´ into New Orleans...."

Johnnie Allan released his cajun-flavored version in ´71, dropping Chuck´s the in the process. The rather obscure Allan, who nevertheless managed to aquire the title ´ambassador of swamp pop´ somewhere down the line, recognized the potential of Chuck´s ditty and boy did he do a great job with it. By trading in the guitar solos for a juicy accordeon, he made the song his own. Commercially, it didn´t do a lot at first, but re-released in ´74 it was a surprisingly big hit in the UK.

"Somebody help me get out of Louisiana, just to help me get to Houston Town,
there are people there who care a little about me, and they won't let the poor boy down..."

The much better known Elvis version stems from ´74, and managed to climb to number 14 in the American hit parade. It´s easy to see why, as the Memphis Flash sings it with conviction, which didn´t happen very often in this stage of his career. Compared to Allan´s interpretation though, Elvis simply doesn´t stand a chance. Should have kept that accordeon, big guy...

"Swing low sweet chariot, come down easy, taxi to the terminal gate...
cut your engines and cool your wings, and let me make it to the telephone."

Over the years, Promised Land has been covered by The Band, James Taylor, The Grateful Dead, Meatloaf and Dave Edmunds, to name but a few. Springsteen didn´t, he wrote his own Promised Land. But no matter how many heavyweights have interpreted it, and no matter how many more will in the future, for me Johnnie Allan´s version will always remain the one and only.

"Tell the folks back home this is the promised land calling...
poor boy´s on the line."

Johnnie Allan - Promised Land MP3
Chuck Berry - The Promised Land MP3
Elvis Presley - Promised Land MP3

Sunday, January 11, 2009

On The Bayou

I´m honoured to present a guest post by Paul, author of the indispensable Setting The Woods On Fire blog. Please leave many a comment, so the Motor City Cowboy might be persuaded to contribute here more often...

As recorded by Hank Williams, the song Jambalaya (On The Bayou) has long been one of my favorites. The pace, intonation, and instrumentation are all pitch perfect. Who ever thought two chords and some silly words could sound so good?

Hank Williams - Jambalaya (On The Bayou) MP3

Jambalaya (the food) is the Louisiana version of paella, a rice-based dish with a variety of vegetables and meat. Other Cajun/Louisiana-related items in the tale inlcude the pirogue, the bayou, filé gumbo, Thibodeaux, and crawfish pie. Of course, Jambalaya (On The Bayou) is not an authentic Cajun folk song, but instead would be more accurately described as ´mock´ cajun. Nevertheless, it's a lot of fun. While Hank's version is certainly the most enduring, it's not alone. Jambalaya has been one of the most often covered (and mangled) tunes in Hank's catalog. I've got 35 different versions in my computer. Most really aren't very good, but a few are worth mentioning.

After Hank's version, the next most noteworthy take on Jambalaya (On The Bayou) comes from Moon Mullican. Moon Mullican was a legendary pre-rock 'n' roller whose dynamic style mixed elements of the blues, country, R&B, and western swing. Reliable sources credit Mullican as being co-author of the song. All Music Guide explains: ´For decades, it was an open secret that he'd co-written Jambalaya (On The Bayou) with his fellow Grand Ole Opry member Hank Williams, collecting a 50 percent share of the royalties on the sly because of his contractual relationship to King Records´. With Mullican's version, you can hear a few extra verses that Hank left out.

Moon Mullican - Jambalaya (On The Bayou) MP3

The mainstream version of Jambalaya was the pop rendition by Jo Stafford, which hit no. 3 on the Billboard singles chart in 1953. If my ears aren't playing a trick on me, it sounds like Stafford tried to mainstream the lyrics a bit by changing ´Jambalaya´ to ´John
Balaya´. Maybe she was just jazzing it up:

Jo Stafford - Jambalaya (On The Bayou) MP3

What you may not realize is that the melody for Jambalaya (On The Bayou) comes from an old Cajun folk song called Grand Texas. Here are two versions of that tune:

Aldus Roger - Grand Texas MP3
Hackberry Ramblers - Grand Texas MP3

Like I said, there are many versions of Jambalaya, but most of them are kind of bad. In looking for a few covers to highlight here, I discovered that the best cover versions come from Louisiana artists playing Louisiana music. I suppose that makes sense. Here are three good ones:

Fats Domino - Jambalaya (On The Bayou) MP3
Professor Longhair - Jambalaya (On The Bayou) MP3
Jo-El Sonnier - Jambalaya (On The Bayou) MP3

P.S. The ´fruit jar´ is to be filled with whiskey.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Tarab Of Umm

The great Umm Kulthum, which is often spelled in the western world as Om Khalsoum or derivations thereof, was known as the star of the east and the diva of Arab song. Bob Dylan once remarked that "she is one of my favorite singers of all time, and I don´t understand a word she sings..." Kulthum (1904-1975) had an amazing vocal range in her prime, and is still incredibly popular almost everywhere they speak Arabic. Call her the middle-eastern female equivalent of Elvis and you wouldn´t be far off. Not just in Egypt, her country of origin, but from Morocco to Tunesia and from Afghanistan to Syria chances are that your local taxi driver will carry one of her tapes in his glove compartment. It is said more than 4 million people showed up for her funeral procession in the streets of Cairo.

To quote Virginia Danielson in her book The Voice Of Egypt: ´in Arabic culture, a good singer is a mutrib, one who creates an environment of tarab with his or her performance. Excellent rendition generates tarab, literally ´enchantment´, the sense of having been deeply moved by the music´. A bit like duende in Spanish flamenco I guess. For a truckload of tarab, check out one of her most popular songs: El Atlal (the ruins). The live performance below is nearly 40 minutes long, but don´t let that deter you: the more it progresses, the more hypnotic it becomes. Its lyric - in translation of course - begins thus:
"My heart, don't ask where love has gone...
it was a citadel of my imagination that has collapsed,
water me and let me drink of its ruins...
and tell the story on my behalf as long as the tears flow."

Umm Kulthum - El Atlal MP3

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lou And Bob Vs. The Kids

In my post below, I agreed with the esteemed mr. Rigby that John Cale´s seventies output has stood the test of time a lot better than the albums his former Velvets partner in crime Lou Reed put out during that decade. I also made one exception, and that´s the masterpiece from ´73 called Berlin.

Leaning heavily on Bob Ezrin´s bombastic but apt production, Berlin is a concept album about a relationship gone horribly wrong due to drug use, depression, violence and adultery. It ends with the suicide of Caroline, a.k.a. the German queen, a.k.a. Lady Day, a.k.a. Mary Queen of Scots, a.k.a. Alaska. Some say the story concerns a ménage à trois, but I could never find any proof to back up that particular theory.

One of Berlin´s highlights is a song called The Kids. It starts thus: "They´re taking her children away... because they say she´s not a good mother." Lou sings it like a guy who knows he´s beaten. He´s - almost - beyond emotion. He´s the ´water boy´, just a tired man who probably made some mistakes too along the way, facing the fact that it all came to this and he was never able to turn back the tide. So he makes a list of all the shit that went down, with the black airforce sergeant, the girlfriend from Paris, the Welshman from India and all the others. Only one time his anger gets the upper hand, when he slurs "that miserable rotten slut couldn´t turn anyone away..."

Late in the song, the kids in question start crying in the background. A truly heart-rending sound. Shivers down the spine guaranteed... "Mommy! Mommeeey!" Producer Ezrin used his own children here, and the story goes he either hit them to get them to cry this way, or (gasp) told them their mother was just killed in an accident. Ethical? Not really, but all is fair in love and war as they say, and Ezrin sure got the result he was looking for.

Lou Reed - The Kids MP3

This post is dedicated to Stooges guitarist and occasional bassist Ron Asheton, who was found dead today. In his memory, here´s Louie Louie from the last ever Iggy & The Stooges show in the Michigan Palace in Detroit back in ´74 - we´ll forget about that ill-advised reunion crap for now. Asheton embodied raw power, guitar stylee.

Iggy & The Stooges - Louie Louie MP3

Monday, January 5, 2009

John vs. Lou

Over at Boogie Woogie Flu, one of my fave music blogs, former dB´s drummer Will Rigby tackles the solo legacy of John Cale. In his guest post, illustrated with a couple of great and not so well known Cale tunes and a fun video clip, Rigby writes: "Count me among those who consider John Cale's post-Velvet Underground work superior overall to that of Lou Reed. Not to belittle Dirty Boulevard or Waves Of Fear or Kicks or all the other LR songs I love (and I can't say I've gone ga-ga over a JC album in years), but Cale's albums from the '70s find their way onto my speakers more often."

Can´t agree more, Will. I still play the eccentric Welsman´s seventies albums quite a lot too, and found that the baroque Paris 1919 (´73), the stark Fear (´74) and the heavy live onslaught of Sabotage (´79) still sound remarkably fresh on a modern day iPod. And while Slow Dazzle and Helen Of Troy (both ´75) may not be that consistent, they still have their moments of utter brilliance. Of Reed´s solo oeuvre on the other hand, I guess only the dark (melo-)drama of Berlin (´73) has stood the test of time quite well. Of his other seventies albums, only isolated tracks (Perfect Day, the evergreen Walk On The Wild Side, Street Hassle, Kicks) stand out.

Here are two tracks from the aforementioned Sabotage/Live album. Not an obvious best-of-live collection but a fresh batch of terrific songs, it was recorded in New York City´s punk mecca CBGB´s with a John Cale who was ready for war.

John Cale - Mercenaries (Ready For War) MP3
John Cale - Baby You Know MP3

Saturday, January 3, 2009

You Son Of A Gun

And a very happy birthday to Van Dyke Parks, the eccentric musician, producer and arranger who´s best known for his collaborations with Beach Boy Brian Wilson on the legendary Smile album. A genuine musical jack of all trades, and a master too, he also worked with artists as diverse as Grace Kelly, The Byrds, Little Feat, Frank Black, Joanna Newsom and The Mighty Sparrow.

Van Dyke, who started out in showbiz as a succesful child actor in the fifties, made an ideosyncratic bunch of solo records over the years as well. Parks was a critic´s darling whose albums didn´t sell, and it´s easy to see why. His songs are often filled to the brim with diverse musical ideas, where the extremely complex arrangements, although undoubtedly very clever, can have a suffocating effect on the listener. There´s one song in Van Dyke Parks´ oeuvre that gets me any time though. And that´s John Jones, from Discover America, his ´72 ode to calypso music. "John Jones... you son of a gun". Try it. It´s infectuous.

Van Dyke Parks - John Jones MP3

Thursday, January 1, 2009


A happy new year everybody. As promised in my recent post on Julian Cope´s Japrocksampler book, here´s the lowdown on the Flower Travellin´ Band´s classic Satori album. The former head honcho of The Teardrop Explodes was spot on when he awarded it the shared top spot in his personal list of Japrock favorites (the other finalist being the equally amazing Eve by Speed, Glue & Shinki). Japan´s ultimate seventies psychedelic hardrock band did away with song titles on this ´71 monster of rifferama, simply naming their compositions Satori Part I to V. Makes sense, as their aural trip is more or less a symphony for bass, drums, voice, sitar and of course electric guitar. Stoner rock avant-la-lettre. It´s no coincidence satori is the Japanese buddhist term for enlightment.

Their influences are obvious (Zep, Sabbath, the Who, Alice Cooper), but as Cope rightly says, they "distilled all the best moves of their western counterparts without once sounding like copycats". And to quote him some more: "For Satori is one of the all-time great hard-rock rages to have been unleashed upon the world, a festival of guitar worship led by axe-wielding maniac Hideki Ishima, who Jeff Becked and Jimmy Paged a number of archetypical Tony Iommisms, interlacing each Satanic riff with a more dazzling stellar lick, and invigorating every troll-like sub-basement grunt with a bazillion squirly Hindu sitar figures."

Here are the lyrics to Satori Part II, so you´ll know exactly what Akira ´Joe´ Yamanaka - probably the only Japanese guy who ever sported a multi-colored afro - is on about here.

"There is no up or down
Your truth is the only master
Death is made by the living
Pain is only intense to you
The sun shines every day
Freedom Freedom.."

The Flower Travellin´ Band broke up in 1973, but surprisingly reunited early this year. Surely a record career hiatus? Check out their official site here, and have fun rocking out to Satori Part II. Banzai!

Flower Travellin´ Band - Satori Part II MP3