This grainy live recording captures psychedelic wrecking crew Iron Butterfly in a particularly sharp club performance from early in their career. Still months away from the release of their 1968 debut Heavy, Live at the Galaxy captures the band in their earliest, roughest form, working out songs heavy on organ stabs and blues riffing. The bootleg quality of the album is on par with other obscure, audience-recorded artifacts of its era by psych bands like the Electric Prunes and others, but the band transcends the lo-fi cloudiness of the album with spirited jamming that all but wrote the acid rock rule book, especially on high points such as "Iron Butterfly Theme."
Michael Burks' third release on Alligator Records, Iron Man, is as close to being a live album as you can get from a studio performance. This could be attributed to Burks using his seasoned road band on this date instead of the Memphis studio musicians used previously on Make It Rain and I Smell Smoke. Alongside Burks' searing Flying V strut, Wayne Sharp's greasy Hammond B-3 dominates this set, reveling in soul and rock influences, including a cover version of Free's "Fire and Water," a definite nod to the blues-rock audience Burks has gained over his 30-plus years on the road. While Iron Man is an overall inspired modern electric blues disc, a few missteps hamper the session. "Ashes in My Ashtray," penned by Chicago bluesman Jimmy Johnson, would have made a better instrumental in this particular case, as the lyrics get in the way of an intense Burks guitar performance.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Hip and groovy work from Phil – very different than both his earlier bop-heavy sides, and his freer European recordings – recorded with some great backings by Johnny Pate, the excellent Chicago soul arranger who also did some great soundtrack work! Pate's come up with some tight short tracks that have a nice groovy late 60s Verve feel – over which Woods solos angularly on alto, working amidst woodwinds by Jerome Richardson and Jerry Dodgion, piano by Herbie Hancock, trumpet by Thad Jones, and some light strings that trickle in and out from time to time.
Collection includes: Placebo (1996); Without You I'm Nothing (1998); Black Market Music (2000); Sleeping with Ghosts (2003); Meds (2006).