Sunday, October 04, 2020

VA - Lost Souls

 Lost Souls Volume 1 (1960s Garage And Psychedelic Rock'n'Roll From The Un-Natural State - Arkansas)

From the depths of the most rural parts of Arkansas emerges a wild collection of garage and psychedelic unknowns. & Lost Souls, Volume 1 is full of cryptic killers and psychedelic cycles from custom labels and obscurities of Arkansas, many of which never landed outside of the town where they originated. They all share a unique sound that comes from being isolated in rural communities yet brimming with teen abandon. The liner notes are filled with detailed exclusive info on The Lost Souls, Sole Society, Purple Canteen, and more will aim to please for the curious listener.

Now another rope ladder descent into the bottomless pit that appears to be the U.S. sixties / seventies garage psych scene. The Lost Souls (Vol. 1) CD compilation curated by musician and record collector Harold Ott would immediately suggest that its release was the culmination of countless hours of burning the midnight oil, when eating and sleeping (and other essentials) fell by the wayside in deference to making an absorbing trawl through the musical heritage of Arkansas. These reactivated 45s, acetates and master tapes, 29 in all, are thoughtfully sequenced in chronological order and detail the bratty ripostes, and, in time, the more weirded out responses made to the then booming British invasion. When it comes down to influences and innocent ghosting, a good percentage seem to acknowledge Them in favour of Stonesy swagger and Zombies-esque sensitivity, witness The Yardleys, Barefacts, the excellent Xciters with Upsetter and the edgy delivery of Gene Burnett on Hey Come On Now . However for me, the more interesting combos look to their own. The Shades (featuring Bob Fly) offer a sublime moment in Young Rascals-shaded white soul in Hit It . L.D. Mitchell and The Amalgated Taxi Cab Service s plea for racial harmony ( Planet of Union ) is a Doorsy mid-pacer, less portentous and doomy than those other Jimboclones Phantom s Divine Comedy. Amps are turned to eleven with Blackfoot s Bummed Out , an embryonic hard rock / psych crossover where Steppenwolf are put in a blender with the Damnation of Adam Blessing. As for the weirdest thing , well it just has to be LSD by the Suspension of Belief. A stream of consciousness infused folk rock exploitation disc in which the producer, a man out of his time, dropped in recordings of a female opera singer at timely moments. A low tech precursor to sample culture? Maybe! As a number of US /Euro comps I ve chanced upon recently have a just make do policy no sleevenotes, smudgy band and label pics ...Souls comes as a clunker-free breath of fresh air and clearly goes that extra garage mile in the research department. --Terrascope Online

Brilliantly researched batch of small town sounds There are plenty of surprises lurking in this inspirational debut comp from the Arkansas-based and unashamedly Arkansas-centric Psych Of The South label. Covering 1965-71, the spread of grooves includes the inevitable garage and Brit Invasion, psych and prog soundalikes, but because researcher/curator Harold Ott's focus is so obsessively narrow, he s also turned up some wildly eccentric local variations on 45, acetate and original master tape. Witness the strangely funky garage-country sound of Trouble Bros Your Love Is Gone, Supension Of Disbelief s LSD, complete with their svengali s random postproduction opera samples, and future preacher LD Mitchell s insistent message of brotherly love in Planet Of Union. The sleeve picture of would-be weirdoes The Sole Society playing a Saturday afternoon gig outside the K-Mart is priceless; likewise the love and intimacy poured into Ott s booklet notes, including highs such as the garage-a-billy Roustabouts, house band at the now defunct Lil Abner theme park in Little Rock . Like Harold says, This puppy moves. Psych Of The South | 4501 Reviewed by Derek Hammond --Record Collector Magazine

Just when you thought every single thread of music from the past has been resurrected in digital form, a package such as this surfaces. And that's a good thing because folks like us can never get enough of the stuff. While there's no shortage of compilation albums centering on particular regions of the world, Arkansas is one state that hasn't been examined much at all, so Lost Souls is indeed a welcome release. A fair share of these bands are captured straddling the transition between frat rock and British Invasion sounds, resulting in a string of crude yet awfully charming tunes. Strands of soul and funk music also tend to crop up in the sessions, but for the most part, the record as its subtitle proclaims, salutes the gritty garage punk racket and trippy psychedelic sensations we all know and love. Among the joys heard on Lost Souls are Upsetter by The Xciters, The Problem of Tyme's Back Of My Mind, The Blue and Gray's rendition of Don't Bring Me No Flowers, which was initially laid to vinyl by The Gentrys, Even Though It's Wrong from Michael Troy and The Pharaohs, and The Light Won't Shine by The Yardleys. Shuffling grooves, choppy guitars, snotty vocals, trashy drumming and squeaky organ passages rule the turf. Seated in the freaky corner of the room, there's Blackfoot's Bummed Out, Purple Canteen's Brains In My Feet and Mystic Illusion's Colour Of My Daye. As the sixties stomped on, the music encountered many dramatic changes, which are firmly illustrated on Lost Souls, where the energy is contagious and the possibilities are boundless. RECORD REVIEWS BY BEVERLY PATERSON (May 2008) --Twist And Shake Magazine

Garage Psychedelic Rock from Arkansas & Bey 2

Lost Souls Volume 2 - Garage Psychedelic Rock from Arkansas and Beyond 1965-1971 gathers unheard, unknown, and legendary garage and psychedelic rock from Arkansas and Southeast Missouri in the 1960s. PLUS for the first time the garage punk classic The Modds - Leave My House is sourced directly from a recently discovered reel to reel tape revealing more than ever heard before. The Esquires "Sadie's Ways" is also here from the master tape. It charted #1 in Memphis before getting banned on the radio for suggestive lyrics in 1965! ALL tracks are sourced from reel to reel tapes recovered from the private collections of the original musicians and studio owners. 15 bands are featured in an extensive 20 page full color booklet including liner notes with details on EVERY band. The sounds contained within reveal a hidden history of garage and psychedelic music previously unknown to exist. Hear new sounds from the past ranging from primitive garage to heavy psych and beyond. As a result of these discoveries, old bandmates and friends have reunited to discuss and celebrate the music of their past. The CD is the product of years of research into the garage groups that formed in Arkansas in the wake of the British Invasion. Bands from all over the state formed at this time to make their own records at a handful of local studios. Psych of the South is dedicated to uncovering the lost 1960s and early 1970s recordings of Arkansas and the surrounding area. Through interviews with original band members, studio owners, and fans, Psych of the South is bringing new life to the sounds of the past with the Lost Souls Volume 2 CD.

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, this compilation starts magnificently with a quintessential slice of garage snarl as The Modds rip through Leave My House, a track filled with nasty overdriven guitar and venomous vocals. With a more commercial feel, well less fuzz anyway, The Electric Sunshine were 9 years old when they formed and recorded, fair play to them as it is a decent effort albeit derivative. Despite sounding like Steppenwolf, The Tuesday Blues display some fine musicianship on the wonderfully arranged Have You Ever Loved Somebody, whilst have a excellent sound one a brace of psych songs, with Sky Flight being the pick of the two. Another fine brace of songs is presented by The Coachmen, whose Byrdsian jangle has a commercial edge, backed by some fine vocals. The band have even re-united recently for some 40th anniversary shows, the original songs being recorded in 1966. It always amazes me that compilation such as this, that rely on a small (relatively) geographical area for their material, can find enough decent quality material for such a collection, and while the quality may dip slightly in places, this cd contains some real killers spread across its 24 tracks, including the excellent psych (ish) version of the soul classic Ninety Nine and a Half, recorded by Scorpio, and featuring some lovely Hammond organ. Those of you with a love of the West-Coast sound will enjoy, the swirling psych of Stonehenge, whose Try to Help Each Other comes complete with eco-aware lyrics and a moody guitar riff. A similar, psych swirl is provided by The Purple Canteen, a band who owned a foot operated lightshow and rehearsed in a canteen painted purple and whose If You Like It That Way contains some fine fuzzed up guitar work. Offering a trio of strong songs, Woo Too Country Band, Feature powerful female vocals courtesy of Susan Gent, whilst the rest of the band display some maturity in their playing, fine arrangements and subtly, all this and a garage cover of What a Friend We Have In Jesus, what more could you want!! With honourable mentions going to L.D. Mitchell & the Amalgamated Taxi Cab Service, for their moody anti-draft song Roses Roses, as well as the funky/slowburning album closer It Could make You Know the Truth- Jimmy Roberts, a song with piano and trombones included, giving it a completely different feel, this compilation is one that you will return you more than once, bring on volume three. (Simon Lewis) --Terrascope Online

This is another second shot, but rather than being a separate album by the same artist, it is instead a further compilation of old recordings by bands from the old days, i.e. the Sixties and thereabouts. One can definitely discern the British invasion influences on these bands (and the pieces are a great deal of fun to listen to and to cogitate on, e.g. there is one track that is so very Buddy Holly, by whom the Brit bands were heavily influenced). They are mostly from Arkansas, but there are a couple of Missouri bands in the mix as well. The liner notes give a lot of information on the groups and where they recorded and even in some cases how they went on to reform as different bands; in fact, it is almost as much fun to read them as it is to listen to the music. The is an instrumental track featuring Jonesboro native Gary Baker, who invented his own instruments and was obviously influenced by jazz organist Jimmy Smith. This is a classic blast from the past and should be in the collection of any follower of music history or fan of music from what we could call a gentler era and, while most of the cuts are dated, there are some that will remind you of bands playing today. The more things change, the more they stay the same? Go to for more data. --Nightflying Magazine

Clearly, this is part of a worthy and ongoing local history project to trace and document the garage and psychedelic music of Arkansas in the 1960s. Listening from the inside, this is something to be proud of, coming as the music does, from unreleased reel to reel tapes in private collections. From a wider perspective however, it does not, to my ears at least, maintain the same consistency of its predecessor. Its strength lays in the first 12 tracks. The Models Leave My House is a garage cruncher and there s soulful and acid fuzz in tracks by The Dust, The Right Track and Saturday s Children. Much of the second half though, is punctuated by indifferent mid-paced instrumentals and so-so melodies. There s a period warmth and glow about it as a package though which helps make it more than the sum of its parts. Paul Martin --Shindig Magazine

Lost Souls, Vol. 3 (Arkansas Garage Psychedelic Rock 1963-1971)

Obscure sub-underground garage and psych bands from the state of Arkansas back in the day. Couldn't help but to notice some of these unknown bands were covering classics by (already) established artists - however, keep in mind this CD is every bit as great as it's other three volumes. Couldn't get enough of the superb opener Richard Vanover & Bob Ralph "I Can See Your Ways", the simply out-standing The Villager's "Empty Heart", a solo artist - Jamie Holmes covering Them's smash hit "Gloria", Red Light Funnies covering Love's "My Little Red Book", "Mr. Flying Saucer Man" by Jimmy Ford & The Luzers, Harold Morgan's awesome "White Lightning" of which I'm sure that at one time was likely a highly sought-after vinyl 45 single and the should've been a worldwide hit The Five Vogues' "Wait And See". Also enjoyed the (almost) Doo-Wop-like The Saber's "I'll Fly High", the Lemon Meat covering Love's "Signed D.C." along with two bands giving a new life to a couple of Jimi Hendrix tunes - Wet Dream (have to wonder why this band never got airplay) on "Fire" and Scorpio with a rocking spin on "Hey Joe". A must-have. ~ Mike Reed.

Lost Souls Vol. 4: Unreleased 1960s Garage & Psych

Another must-own compilation CD of off-the-radar psychedelic and garage bands from the state of Arkansas in the '60's that (obviously) never got off the ground. From 1965 to 1968 to be more precise. Many of these bands are being heard for the very first time by the general public. Most of these tracks were faithfully preserved on reel-to-reel tapes. Vipers give us five (5) songs to groove to on this disc, as I got a lot out of the four rocking tunes that the Federal Union has here and the somewhat familiar Loved Ones has two tracks on 'Volume 4' for your listening pleasure. The Barons (who I've read about before, maybe it was a copy of Shindig magazine) has two songs here as I was also digging the single cut this CD had by The Coachman, Steppendog and The Villagers. Almost forgot to mention the must-hear pair of audio goods there are from the Stepin' Stones. If you like various artists discs - as I usually do - then you'll love 'Lost Souls, Volume 4'. Also available on vinyl lp - but do keep in mind that on the vinyl edition, you get 14 of the 22 songs. Essential.~ Mike Reed


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