VENENO RARO COM GRAVAÇÕES INÉDITAS DE 1970 E 1971 DESSA BOA BANDA AMERICANA DA CAROLINA DO NORTE, CUJO MEMBRO MAIS FAMOSO ERA "STEPHEN SCOTT", EX-INTEGRANTE DA LENDÁRIA BANDA VENEZUELANA "LADIES WC" DA QUAL ERA O PRINCIPAL COMPOSITOR, BAIXISTA E VOCALISTA!! ELE JUNTOU-SE A "SPEED LIMIT 35" EM 1968 LOGO APÓS SUA SAÍDA DA VENEZUELA!! AS MUSICAS DESSE ALBUM FORAM GRAVADAS PARTE EM ESTÚDIO E PARTE AO VIVO EM 1970 QUANDO A BANDA ABRIU SHOW DA CONHECIDA BANDA STEPPENWOLF!! A SONORIDADE É ROCK PSICODÉLICO COM MIX DE WEST COAST, BLUESY E ACID ROCK!!
Em 1968, Stephen Scott, que havia tocado em bandas como Homer & The Don'ts e Ladies WC, em sua terra natal a Venezuela, mudou-se para a Carolina do Sul e juntou-se ao Speed Limit 35, uma banda que tinha construido um público fiel na vizinha University of South Carolina. Formado a partir de uma banda de bar local tocando covers de Hendrix e Cream. Em 1969 a banda começou a tocar em clubes locais nas Carolinas. Realizaram aberturas de shows para artistas tão diversos como Linda Ronstadt, Brownsville Station e a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Em abril de 1970, a banda marcou o show de abertura para Steppenwolf no Coliseu Columbia, cujo desempenho é carinhosamente capturado no lado A desse album.
A faixa de abertura, "Song in 'A'" tem uma batida ao estilo de Grateful Dead e "Anthem" apresenta uma descontraída vibração bluesy psych. "Song in 'E'" é uma jammy e provoca comparações favoráveis com Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, e é temperado com solos liberalmente bluesy de Walker. O som da banda pode realmente estar mais perto em espírito blues da banda Sparrow, banda de John Kay pré-Steppenwolf. O sucesso do show trouxe a banda para New York, onde eles gravaram demos para a Mercury Studios, cujas musicas são apresentadas no lado B desse album.
In 1968, Stephen Scott, who had played in bands like Homer & The Don’ts and Ladies WC (see our review of the latter’s wonderful reissue) in his native Venezuela, relocated to South Carolina and joined Speed Limit 35, a band that had built up a loyal following at the nearby University of South Carolina. Having graduated from a local bar band playing Hendrix and Cream covers to the first acid rock band in S.C., they made it all the way to New York City before returning to Columbia, where, according to Scott’s liner notes, “they became more involved in acid and less in rock.” By 1969, the band, now a three piece including Paul Swenson on drums and Bobby Walker on guitar and influenced by Scott’s blues background, began playing at local clubs in the Carolinas. Opening for artists as diverse as Linda Ronstadt, Brownsville Station and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band! In April, 1970, the band scored the opening slot for Steppenwolf at the Columbia Coliseum and that performance is lovingly captured on side A of this reissue.
Opener “Song in ‘A’” has a good-time, Grateful Dead party feel to get the crowd on their feet and “Anthem” features a laidback, bluesy psych vibe. The jammy “Song in ‘E’” demonstrates the band’s considerable chops, eliciting favorable comparisons with mid-flight CSNY, and is liberally seasoned with Walker’s bluesy solos. The band’s sound may actually be closer in spirit to John Kay’s bluesier pre-Steppenwolf band, Sparrow, but nevertheless serves them well in their allotted task of pumping up the kids for the main course.
The success of the gig brought the band to New York where they recorded demos at Mercury Studios, selections of which are presented as the album’s B-side. The two-part, 11½-minute “Shoeshine Man” is a heavy lidded headnodder. Part one combines laid-back acoustic jamming with bluesy guitar runs from Walker, while part two captures the band headed full steam into the stratosphere, highlighted by some wicked harp blowing and tasty guitar runs. “Break My Day” finds the boys in a more acoustic, reflective mood, with some unidentified sax work particularly effective and Scott’s mournful, bluesy wail hitting all the right emotional buttons.
In 1971, the author/director of an Off-Off-Broadway play, Alice (based on Alice in Wonderland) saw the band perform at USC’s Campus Club South and was impressed enough to invite them to write the score for his play. While Scott does not believe the play was ever produced, Swiss label owner Raymond Dumont (who is responsible for this reissue), also bought the rights to their score, so hopefully we’ll be hearing more from Speed Limit 35 before too long. Until then, sit back and enjoy these boogie boys bleed the blues and marvel at Walker’s screaming solos, which are particularly awe-inspiring. Fans of better-than-competently played bluesy rock (laced with the occasional acid flourish) in the styles of Paul Butterfield, Steve Miller, and Canned Heat as well as collectors of similarly sounding artifacts from the Rockadelic label have cause for celebration at the unearthing of this buried treasure and should place it at the top of their wish list.
Stephen "Carlos" Scott (bass, vocals)
Bobby "LG" Walker (guitar, vocals)
Paul "Pablo" Swenson (drums)
Recorded Live, April 1970
01. Song In "A" 3:21
02. The Universal Shockwave 4:16
03. Anthem 5:37
04. Song In "E" 6:51
05. California Song 6:39
Studio Recordings, 1970/71
06. Shoe Shine Man (Part 1 & 2) 11:25
07. Break My Day 4:47
08. Inside Of You 4:19