Posts Tagged ‘Heartsfield’

Heartsfield, Bruce & Murray

March 21, 2012

Originally posted March 19, 2009

Hi, all. It’s Video Thursday!

First of all, here are two performances by Heartsfield from the band’s reunion concert in 2004. The first has the band performing “Shine On,” and the second has the band closing the concert with “I’m Coming Home.” (The DVD then has the studio version of “The Wonder of It All” play over the closing credits. The person who posted the video at YouTube notes that the credits include some footage of the band from 1975.)

And the second:

Here’s Bruce Springsteen performing “You’re Missing” in Barcelona, Spain in 2002.

Last, I found a live performance of “Superstar” from Jesus Christ Superstar with Murray Head backed by a full orchestra and choir. The performance took place in France in 2007 during something called the Night of the Proms, a series of concerts that Wikipedia indicates is the largest annually organized indoor event in Europe.

Tomorrow, I think I’m going to offer a Six-Pack of single tracks from six albums – yet to be chosen – that have been in my stacks for years without ever being played. That means we could have some great music, we could have some odd music, and we could have some music that’s both.

Here’s Some Heartsfield

March 21, 2012

Originally  posted March 18, 2009

I’ve posted a few things from the 1970s country-rock band Heartsfield, and the reaction was positive both times. Today, I’m offering the band’s second album, The Wonder of It All, a 1974 release. And I’ve added a new, better and complete copy of the group’s first, self-titled album from 1973.

Fans of early 1970s country rock should enjoy the albums. It’s been a mystery to me why Heartsfield didn’t become more well-known.

Heartsfield – The Wonder of It All (1974)

Tracks
The Wonder of It All
House of Living
Pass Me By
Shine On
Eight Hours Time
I’ve Just Fallen
Racin’ the Sun
Lafayette County
Shine On (single edit)

Heartsfield – Heartsfield (1973)

Tracks
I’m Coming Home
Hush-A-Bye
Gypsy Rider
Music Eyes
Understandin’ Woman
Just That Wind
The Only Time I’m Sober Is When You’re Gone
Save Her Life
The Wonder of It All

Note:
I wasn’t up to saying much when I posted earlier today, nor, obviously, was I up to posting correctly. I mixed things up a little on the original post. I’ve now revised the post, uploaded the correct album and added another. Sorry for the confusion.

Clicking on ‘2’ & ‘11’

December 21, 2011

Originally posted February 11, 2009

I’m just not feeling well today, so I won’t be writing anything. I do have an idea for something for tomorrow or Friday about old telephone numbers. (Yeah, it well get us to music.)

But, as usual, I don’t like to leave this space entirely unmelodied. So I’m going to click through some stuff on the player and, working with stuff from 1950-99, post the second and the eleventh random track. (It’s 2/11 today.) So we’ll see what we come up with.

And I’ll be back tomorrow.

“Brownstone” by Glenn Yarbrough from The Lonely Things [1966]

“Please Save Her Life” by Heartsfield from Heartsfield [1973]

Of Heartsfield & Sneezes

June 27, 2011

Originally posted May 12, 2008

Last November, I posted a Saturday Single from The Wonder Of It All, a 1974 album by a Midwest band called Heartsfield, a group I’d run across more or less by accident. (I have a sneaking suspicion that we find most of the musicians and groups we listen in that way: pure happenstance.) And I received a few notes from fans of the group, some of them offering assistance in helping me find the rest of Heartsfield’s oeuvre.

I took one of those readers up on that offer this weekend. Mark of St. Louis posted links for me of Heartsfield from 1973, Foolish Pleasures from 1975 and Rescue the Dog, a 2005 album by a band newly organized by one of Heartsfield’s co-founders. (Thanks much, Mark!) That brings me close to a complete Heartsfield collection. A 1977 album, Heartsfield Collectors Item, appears to be an album of new material rather than the compilation the title might imply.

Normally, on Monday, I’d post an album or some kind of themed collection as a Baker’s Dozen. But the pollen has attacked – I read in the Twin Cities newspaper last week that this is the worst year for spring allergies in some time. Well, I already knew that. And I spent much of the weekend wheezing and sniffling and not putting much time at all into thinking about what I would offer this morning. I have some interesting albums in the stack of things to rip, and I will get to one or two of them this week, as well as offer the rest of the week’s regular features.

For now, however, I’m going to let the universe do my work for me this morning. We’ll start with a song from one of the Heartsfield albums Mark provided for me, and from there, we’ll take a fifteen-song walk through the 1950-1999 junkyard.

A Walk Through The Junkyard
“I’m Coming Home” by Heartsfield from Heartsfield, 1973

“Kaval Sviri (The Flute Plays)” by Ensemble Trakia from Mystère Des Voix Bulgares, Vol. 2, recorded at Plodiv, Bulgaria, 1982

“Naturally” by Fat Mattress from Fat Mattress 2, 1970

“By Today” by Batdorf & Rodney from Batdorf & Rodney, 1972

“Redneck Rhythm and Blues” by Brooks & Dunn from Borderline, 1996

“Abraham, Martin & John” by Boo Hewerdine & Darden Smith from Interchords radio show, live, 1991.

“Pacific Coast Highway” by the Mamas & the Papas from People Like Us, 1971

“I’m A Woman” by Maria Muldaur from Waitress In A Donut Shop, 1974

“Ain’t It Hell Up In Harlem” by Edwin Starr from Hell Up In Harlem soundtrack, 1974

“Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat & Tears from Blood, Sweat & Tears, 1969

“Changes” by Gordon Lightfoot from Lightfoot!, 1966

“I Still Miss Someone (Blue Eyes)” by Stevie Nicks from The Other Side of the Mirror, 1989

“Back Stabbers” by the O’Jays, Philadelphia International single 3517, 1972

“The Moon Struck One” by The Band from Cahoots, 1971

“Lullaby” by Wishbone Ash from Pilgrimage, 1971

A few notes:

Visitors sometimes snort when I tell them I listen at times to Bulgarian choral music. But should one of the tracks pop up from one of the several such albums I have ripped to mp3s, well, my visitors’ eyes widen and their mouths open as they hear the odd intervals and impossibly close harmonies. The sound is alien to Western ears, and I don’t listen to a lot of it at one time, but it never hurts to know what other places sound like, and the musicianship on all of the Mystère Des Voix Bulgares albums – and on the Nonesuch label albums that preceded them – is impeccable.

Fat Mattress is where Noel Redding went in the late 1960s after his time as bassist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience was over. The group’s music was different from that of the Experience: far more based on the British folk-rock tradition and the psychedelic and progressive rock sounds that stemmed from that tradition. The two albums the group did are well worth hearing, if those sounds intrigue you. The group’s second album – from which “Naturally” comes – was slightly inferior to the first album, says All-Music Guide, but from a distance of more than thirty-five years, the differences don’t seem that significant.

John Batdorf and Mark Rodney made three albums in the early 1970s in a singer-songwriter/soft rock vein. The albums are pleasant but not very consequential. One of the joys of having a 500-gig external hard drive is that there is room to keep bits and pieces of pleasant marginalia if one so desires. The duo is similar to, but not quite as good as, Seals & Crofts.

The Boo Hewerdine/Darden Smith performance of Dick Holler’s wondrous “Abraham, Martin & John” is, to me, a highlight of both singers’ careers. The Interchords appearance had Hewerdine interviewing Smith along with performances by both. I’d love to hear the entire show. And I’d love to know who Stephen (Steven?) was. Listen to the song, and you’ll know what I mean.

The Mamas & the Papas, who had broken up in 1968, reunited in 1971 to record the album, People Like Us, simply to fulfill a contractual obligation. The album is better than one might expect of such an effort, but the group’s time had passed and the product sounded out of date and went nowhere.

Wishbone Ash is one of those bands I knew about in my youth but never listened to (given the vast number of groups at the time and since then, there are many such, I am certain). I ran across a track by Wishbone Ash at The College Crowd Digs Me about seven months ago and since then have slowly been taking in the group’s body of work. “Lullaby,” along with the album it comes from, is far more mellow than the sounds I’d expected when I began digging into the group’s work.

Edited slightly during reposting June 27, 2011.

Saturday Single No. 39

May 18, 2011

Originally posted November 3, 2007

I came across a reference to a band called Heartsfield a couple of months ago, and my first thought was, “That name sounds familiar – I should know something about that band.” But nothing came to mind.

So I played the mp3 posted on whatever blog it was, and I liked what I heard. It had the sense of country rock from the 1970s, a style that I clearly like, so I dug a little bit further into the band.

The members of Heartsfield came out of the Chicago area in the early 1970s, according to a site documenting the group’s career. All-Music Guide lists four albums from that era: Heartsfield from 1973, The Wonder Of It All from 1974, Foolish Pleasures from 1975 and Heartsfield Collectors Items (evidently not an anthology) from 1977. In 2000, there was a release of Live in 1975, and the group reformed for a new album, Rescue the Dog in 2001.

I haven’t listened to a lot of the group’s music although I might have heard some of it back in the mid-1970s. Maybe not, though. AMG notes that the group’s most recognizable tune from that era was “Music Eyes,” which hit No. 95 on the Billboard chart in 1974. That was pulled from the group’s first album, and the title rang no bells for me at all.

But I was intrigued by the one track I heard, so I dug a little further and learned that the track came from The Wonder Of It All. I shelled out a few bucks and bought the CD. Looking at the insert, the photos and credits brought no further recognition. But that’s really not all that surprising. Even during a time when I was paying close attention to new music, it was impossible to catch it all: there were so many bands during that that got contracts and a chance at the top.

Heartsfield had its chance, and – reading between the lines on the Heartsfield site, which appears to be a little out of date – still might play regular gigs (although it’s hard to say from the site how many of the group’s original members are still involved). All I know for sure about the group is the music on The Wonder Of It All, and if it isn’t always distinguished – and some of the tracks blend into what sounds to me like country rock clichés – it’s always pleasant. I’m sufficiently intrigued to have placed the other three 1970s albums on my hunting list. That’s going to mean finding a couple of LPs. (The Wonder Of It All is the only one of the 1970s albums to have been released on CD according to AMG although the fan site says that Foolish Pleasures also is out on CD. They’ve been released on the Bedrock label, which also released the live album and the 2001 reunion album.)

I haven’t really begun to hunt yet. There are other LPs I’ll look for first. But for the time being, I’ve got the 1974 album, which finds it way into the CD player from time to time. And I thought I’d share the track I like the best – “Shine On” – as today’s Saturday Single.

Heartsfield – “Shine On” [1974]