Sunday, November 22, 2009

Leigh Stephens - Red Weather (1969)


Rock guitarist Leigh Stephens was a founding member of the power trio Blue Cheer, a hard rock band based in San Francisco, along with bassist/vocalist Dickie Peterson and drummer Paul Whaley. The group was signed to Philips Records and released its debut album, Vincebus Eruptum, in January 1968. Containing a Top 20 revival of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues," the LP soared to number 11 in the Billboard chart. Less successful was the follow-up, Outsideinside, released in August 1968, which reached the Top 100. In late 1968, Stephens, who later described himself as the only member of Blue Cheer... Read More...
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1 Another Dose Of Life 4:47 (Stephens)
2 Drifting 6:41 (Stephens)
3 Indians 4:47 (Stephens, Koske)
4 I Grow Higher 5:39 (Stephens, Albronda)
5 Red Weather 3:14 (Stephens)
6 If You Choose Too 5:10 (Stephens, Albronda)
7 Joannie Mann 5:05 (Stephens)
8 Ckicken Pot Pie 3:12 (Stephens)

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Red Weather was the first solo project from the lead guitarist of Blue Cheer. Originally released on the Phillips/Mercury label in 1969, the album immediately became a favorite on the underground music scene and established Stevens as a solo act. The music on Red Weather was dramatically different than that of Blue Cheer, with a well structured psychedelic sound like Quicksilver or the Grateful Dead rather than the sledgehammer hard rock sound of his former band. Recorded in England at the Trident Studios with the help of Nicky Hopkins on keyboards, drummer Mick Waller from the Jeff Beck Group, and Kevin Westlake from Blossom Toes, the album was hailed as a masterpiece by many British rock fans but was equally dismissed by Blue Cheer fans. The album contained eight songs that highlighted Stevens songwriting ability rather than his guitar prowess. After nearly 30 years the album was rereleased complete with the original psychedelic artwork cover.
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