Prog River Records is releasing some very obscure, but absolutely crucial, progressive rock gems from all over the world. This particular release comes to us from Belarus, where the group, the legendary Pesniary, melded folk-rock with prog-rock weirdness and a tinge of psychedelic rock, sounding something like early Frank Zappa / Mothers of Invention at times.
Their popularity was so strong in the former Soviet Union that they were granted a shot at touring in the United States in 1976, proving to audiences that Soviet Rock was something to take seriously.
The lyrics are based on the works of Russian and Belarusian poets, including Yanka Kupala. This is quite a charming work.
My friend Henning Küpper is the impresario of Lollipope Shoppe, perhaps the first indie label whose work introduced me to everything from psychedelic music and weird Russian rock. For this, I owe Henning a massive debt.
Continuing his amazing curative abilities, he released an album New York-based psych-folk band Ocean. This mellow folky freakout was released in 1969, but the stereo tapes were lost thanks to their label, Apostolic Studios, went under. Thankfully, guitarist John Townley saved a mono recording, and after Lollipope Shoppe polishing, it is available again after 51 years.
A late night of doing paperwork for an upcoming trip to Hungary and move to Czechia brought me to this absolute gem of a folk-prog album. Yoshiko Sai released a few albums in the mid-1970s which were not well-received at the time, but listeners’ tastes have finally caught up with her mellow, trippy, slightly psychedelic songs.
It’s impressive when you are so good that Dave Davies of The Kinks gives you his stamp of approval. Pete Kosanovich gets compared to the aforementioned Kinks, Bob Dylan and other luminaries frequently, and the comparison is apt. He only lacks a good publicist who can spread the word of his talent, which would sound perfectly in place in a collection of 60’s records. The man’s vocals and guitar playing sound like he traveled time to shame today’s crappy ‘rock’ garbage.
Folk-psych from 1977. The band Love is not the legendary Los Angeles band fronted by Arthur Lee, but a Japanese group who churned out at least one magnificent album before disappearing into the aether.