martedì, aprile 12, 2011

Mystic Number National Bank (same 1969 blues/psych usa)

Mystic Number National Bank - Mystic Number National Bank

In spite of the psychedelic title, The Mystic Number National Band were one of Kansas City's contributions to late-1960s blues rock ... Formed in 1967, the band featured the talents of bassist Russ Booth, guitarists Dave Lorenz and Bob Sebbo, and singer/drummer Glenn Walters.

Lead by Sebbo (who played lead guitar with a clubbed right hand) and Walters they were apparently quite an impressive live act becoming staples around Kansas City Westport district club circuit, collecting a cult following with performances at The Art Institute, The Place, etc. The band made their recording debut with the 1968 single 'Good Time Music' b/w 'I Put A Spell On You' (Brass catalog number 421).

The following year saw them attract the attention of ABC's newly formed progressive Probe subsidiary. Co-produced by Dick Weissman and John Turner, 1969's "The Mystic Number National Bank" had it's moments. The emphasis was clearly on blues-rock, but there were stabs at other genres including pop ('Ginger Man'), and even one forlorn ballad ('Umbrellas'). While there wasn't anything wrong with a blues-rock band, by 1969 popular tastes had already begun to move on and unless you brought something really unique to the table, your chances of breaking out were pretty slim. Needless to say, these guys didn't have that unique ingredient. The overall feel was of an album that had been recorded in a rush without enough prep time for the band, or post-production work. Many of the songs sounded like they'd been recorded in one or two takes, complete with flubs and sub-par performances. Hard to imagine that anyone was very happy with something like the instrumental 'AC/DC'.

- The appropriately titled 'Blues Jam' was exactly that - a routine Chicago electric blues instrumental number. Imagine a Paul Butterfield Blues Band outtake ... Absolutely nothing special going on here and 30 second later you wouldn't remember a thing about it. rating: * star
- 'Good Love' introduced Glenn Walters' raspy voice on an okay blues-rocker. The horns didn't really add a great deal to this one, but there was some nice fuzz guitar that offset the other shortcomings. rating: *** stars
- One of two songs penned by guitarist Bob Sebbo, 'It Will Break Your Heart' was a weird country-rocker. I don't know if Sebbo handled the vocals, but whoever it was turned in one of the most mannered deliveries I've ever heard. The way he drags out the title track simply has to be heard ... rating: *** stars
- The group penned instrumental 'AC/DC' basically served as a platform for guitarists Dave Lorenz and Bob Sebbo to wonk off for two minutes. The result was some of the least impressive soloing you've ever heard on a major label rating: * star
- The traditional blues number 'St. James Infirmary' has to be one of the dullest songs ever written and these guys added to that tradition with their extended, eight minute cover of the track. rating: ** stars
- Side two started out with the album's most mainstream rocker 'Beautician Blues' which is probably why it was tapped as a single. rating: *** stars
- Unlike anything else on the album. 'Umbrellas' found the band taking a stab at a sensitive ballad ... Um, nice try, but not a good genre for them to have pursued. The song itself had a gentle and pretty melody, but Walters gruff voice just wasn't a good match for the track. Perhaps they should have left it as an instrumental. rating: ** stars
- For what it's worth, I'd pick their cover of Geoff Mulduar's 'Ginger Man' as the album highlight. They gave the tune a surprisingly commercial spin and it would have actually been a better choice for a single than 'Beautician Blues'. rating: *** stars
- Penned by Sebbo, 'Big Boy' found the band taking on cocktail jazz ... Seriously, this one sounded like something they might have played at a local Marriott hotel. rating: ** stars
- And for the closer, back to Chicago-styled electric blues via 'Blues So Bad'. Giving credit where due, this group composition actually sported a little bit on energy. Hearing it in a small club after a couple of beers probably would have made it quite entertaining. rating: ** stars
Probe also tapped the album for an instantly forgotten single:
- 1969's 'Beautician Blues' b/w 'St James Infirmary' (Probe catalog number 457)
Sure, these guys had some talent and from what I've read, they were actually a fairly impressive live act. That said, you've got to wonder what Probe was thinking when they decided to release this one.
And that was it for these guys.
Booth died of a brain aneurysm.
No idea what happened to Lorenz.
Sebbo apparently still plays guitar, though he's retired and living in Wisconsin. He has some entertaining YouTube clips (check out Bob Sebbo and the Naughty Combo).
Walters briefly reappeared as a member of Stoneface, before recording with The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. He then moved to San Francisco where he remains active in music having recorded a couple of solo albums and playing local events with The Glenn Walters Band (yes, they're available for weddings).
From RYM (ochsfan)

Nessun commento:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...