V.A. - Vlotho Winterberg '75. 1975 Germany

The first of many LP releases of the free Umsonst und Draußen concerts in Germany. This one was boiled down to a single disc.

1 Hammerfest - Lokomotive
2 Missus Beastly - Vloflutho
3 Jack Bone Group - Himalaya Erdbeernuss
4 Embryo - Sidetrack
5 Atzen Wehmeyer - Arbeiterjugendblues
6 Hammerfest - That's What I Say
7 Buttergasse - Sonny
8 Johannislust Orchester - In the Beginning

1) & 6) are from Hammerfest, a good times rock n roll band with a politrock slant. 1) is uncharacteristic and is primarily instrumental with driving rhythm guitar, and a little harmonica. A good opener to the album. 6) is old fashioned 50's style rock and is quite tedious.

2) is the fantastic Missus Beastly, a band I fawn over endlessly, especially from this era. This track was issued as a bonus track on their 1974 masterpiece self-titled album (from Garden of Delights) - an album that is indispensable for any Kraut fusion fan. Anyway, as you can surmise from the title, this is a free form flute driven jazz rock jam. Awesome.

3) is the only recorded output I'm aware of from the Jack Bone Group. And with a name like that, I'm expecting blues rock. And that's pretty much what we get. But it's a swell example of the style, an instrumental upbeat variation with guitar (with nice fuzz tone leads), piano, bells, bass and drums. I would most definitely be interested in hearing more material from this group, if it exists.

4) like Missus Beastly, I can't get enough of Embryo, especially from 1970 til about 1984 or so. And to think they're still going strong with their world music vision, never having once sold out. If you're an artist true to your ideals, Embryo is the gold standard. Bear that in mind before starting out - almost EVERYONE sells out at least once, but not Embryo. This track is clearly in their jazz funk stage that they launched with the brilliant "Bad Heads and Bad Cats" album. No missing Roman Bunka's impassioned vocals - I love his style. Not to mention his incredible phased fuzz guitar solo that has to be heard to be believed. I don't think this track has been issued anywhere else - hard to know without heavy research, as they have so much recorded output. Garden of Delights plans on releasing at least one full Umsonst concert of Embryo ('77), maybe they'll also do this one. I hope so.

5) Well, no surprises here based on the title. Even I could translate it and I know less than 10 German words. Yea, it's pretty awful, but hey that was the SCENE, MAN. At least it's finished in 3 minutes.

7) Buttergasse is a new name for me. Ooh, I like this! Hard driving vocal rock with some absolutely shredding violin and a couple of rhythm changes. Rare I like a German vocalist, but this guy is good. Great guitar solo half way in. Dueling with the violin at points. I bet Buttergasse had a copy of High Tide's "Sea Shanties" in their closet. I would love to hear more material from this band during this era.

8) Johannislust Orchester is another new name to me. Looks like they're related with Einhorn and Skyline, two of the best artists on the following Vlotho '76 album. Well, they have the right influences. Fellow festival groups Embryo and Missus Beastly - and also some Latin percussion via Santana. Excellent sax driven melody, and kudos to the bass who keeps driving the rhythm in a choppy manner - keeping everyone bouncing on the dance floor (or field I'm sure). Another band I'd love to hear more from.

Good set!

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