Reviews of Devil's Kitchen's Album
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As a longtime acquaintance of Lysergic Sound distributors founder Steve Purdy, I feel I owe it to him to write a much more complete review of this release than I typically do for most albums. So here goes: Steve is a long time lover of all things psychedelic, particularly music, and has been a dealer in these kinds of records, probably for more years than he cares to remember. I don't know exactly how he became connected with this band, but releasing their long forgotten tapes from the late 60's was a totally natural fit for him. His consummate experience in what a quality issue should include has made this album everything you could want, much less expect, from an archival issue: limited/#ed pressing, clear/colorful cover, including concise recording info on back liner notes, good quality vinyl, clear, high fidelity sound, a fabulous selection of tracks, and a repro of an old concert handbill included as an insert.
The music is a mix of live and studio recordings, all featuring extensive, acid guitar driven jams, many with dual guitar, and some with fuzz. Most of their mat'l is blues based, and a majority are up-tempo rockers, including a few instrumentals.
A1 - "City" (studio, '68) - A driving, west coast flavored rocker with sizzling dual lead excursions into extended jams, and featuring vocal duets on the chorus, hearkening to a sound not dissimilar to that found on H.P. Lovecraft's Live: May 11, 1968
A2 - "Farm Bust Blues" (live, '69) - A mid-slow blues number with a troubled/agitated feel, and more extended guitar jamming in the typical west coast concert style. Though it doesn't really sound like it, I couldn't help but be reminded of Big Brother and The Holding Co's stellar rendition of "Ball and Chain" from the Monterey Pop fest.
A3 - "Earthfields" (live, '69) - A climactic, and mildly jazzy and up-tempo track, somewhat recalling Hendrix's "Third Stone From the Sun" at the outset, evolving into an urgent and way-cool, dual guitar driven improv trajectory that rises and falls all along a fabulous trip.
B1 - "(You've Got Your) Head on Right" (studio, '68) - Mid-fast, fuzz/psych blues.
B2 - "Dust My Blues" (studio, '68) - A mid-fast blues progression cover of an old blues standard, and featuring some dual bottleneck guitar.
B3 - "Cookin'" (live, '69) - An all-instrumental guitar driven jam that pretty much "cooks" right from blast-off.
B4 - "Mellow Pot Blues" (live, '69) - Great, up-tempo R&B, with a soft bass guitar solo sandwiched between even more extended guitar jams.
B5 - "Mourning Glory" (live, '69) - My favorite on the whole LP, this one is clearly the most progressive oriented cut offered, featuring frantic fuzz guitar driven jamming, vocal duet, and fine guitar and bass interplay.
To those not very familiar with west coast psych, this may not strike as the most original LP in the genre. And those that grow annoyed with extended jamming could have a tough time with this. But to fans of that wonderful sound, this is sheer bliss, including all of the elements to push it right over the top. The best news of the day is that there is even more to be had! Their website offers links to an entire live performance, among other recordings, as well as plenty of pics and back-story info. Check it out here: www.devilskitchenband.com . In the meantime, best grab a copy of this a.s.a.p. as the label says this is well on track to sell out shortly. Strongly recommended!
Grades - 1 A, 4 A-'s, and 3 B+'s, highly consistent too.
Jamming LP, all killer blues influenced groove with a dose of West Coast psych vibe. This has been getting multiple plays on the deck in these parts. Grab it while it's still around as these LSD releases are limited and they do sell out. Plus, you get to support LSD to put out more great stuff.\
The first ever release by DEVILíS KITCHEN, perhaps the best of the greatly talented but ďforgottenĒ bands from the legendary San Francisco psychedelic scene of the late 1960ís. This heavy guitar-powered psychedelic four piece band moved from their original Southern Illinois base to the Bay Area during The Summer Of Love. The band came to the attention of Bill Graham and Chet Helms in 1968 and was soon playing on a regular basis at The Fillmore West. A short time later Devilís Kitchen became the house band at Helmsí Family Dog Ball-room on The Great Highway in San Francisco and remained there in that capacity from the spring of 1968 until the summer of 1970. Devilís Kitchen played all the major venues in The Bay Area and Los Angeles during this time period, opening for and playing frequently with many very well-known bands, including The Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Allman Brothers, Big Brother And The Holding Company with Janis, The Charlatans and many, many others. The band spurned a recording contract offer from Mercury Records in 1968, displeased with the lack of creative control offered them by the label. Consequently, they never released any recordings. There are eight original unreleased tracks on this album and all were taken from the original master tapes that were recorded in 1969 at The Family Dog Ballroom On The Great Highway in San Francisco and the Sierra Sound Recording Studio in Berkeley. The music has a great and unmistakable late 60ís acid-drenched West Coast guitar-driven blues-psych sound with snakey electric slide and roaring fuzz guitar throughout, provided by the talented Robbie Stokes who later went on to play with Quicksilver Messenger Service and appeared on Mickey Hartís 1972 ďRolling ThunderĒ LP, just to mention two of his many musical credits. The discovery of these master tapes and this subsequent release of Devilís Kitchenís first full length album, more than forty years after the recordings were made, is an exciting find for the collectors of obscure 60ís psychedelia. How a great band like this remained under the radar and unreleased for all these years is mystifying. Limited pressing of 1000 hand-numbered copies. Includes a reproduction of Family Dog handbill from March, 1970, featuring Big Brother & The Holding Company, Kaleidoscope and Devilís Kitchen. Welcome again to the great San Francisco sound of the late 1960ís !
Awesome Bluesy psych record. A real treat to have this as its only issue on vinyl so far. I feel lucky to have a copy. Thanks LSD. Keep up the great work and the output of awesome and long forgotten stuff.