Gypsy Blood — Wasurekaketa Kotoba (Forgotten Words)
from Rokko Oroshi (1972)
If ニールヤング.. er.. Neil Young.. had been born in Japan instead of ol’ Canada… he might have sounded something like this! Rokko Oroshi is Gypsy Blood’s second and final album, and it’s a pity, because this is classic dust-under-the-wheels road music… roll the windows down, dude. (Or roll another number…) Other tracks are straight-up Deliverance-style hand-clappin’, fiddle-sawin’, mandolin-pickin’ jams—wild stuff.
I am only guessing, but they may have gotten their name from the raw solo guitar track of the same name, recorded by Jimi Hendrix in 1968.
Piano parts on this album performed by none other than Alan Merrill, frontman of the amazing Tokyo glam rockers Vodka Collins. Stay tuned for some of that too.
Grabbed this record at Japanese Old Prog.
Sachiko Kanenobu — Blue Fish
from Misora (1972)
A friend passed this album my way recently, and I’m happy to have it. Misora apparently means ‘beautiful sky,’ and Sachiko Kanenobu is generally acknowledged by most English-language bloggers (who are probably all cribbing from the same material on record sites) to be one of one of Japan’s first female singer-songwriters, signed at 18 years old to Japan’s first indie label, Underground Record Club.
Such sites also have her taking off to the US to marry an American music critic (Paul Williams) just months before this album hit the shelves in 1972. In America she started a family and fell into relative obscurity, only to be urged in the early 1980s to take up recording again, by none other than science fiction writer and family friend Philip K. Dick. She released a followup album to Misora in 1992.
At any rate, Kanenobu’s songwriting on this album is superb, and she was adept enough at channeling late 60s / early 70s California to make the tunes feel familiar, despite the language barrier. (You’ll find some pedal steel on my other favorite track, ‘Leave it to Time.’)
The deep bass drum hits and lilting guitar lines that start off Blue Fish were driving me crazy earlier — I was trying to figure out just which Neil Young song they reminded me of. I ended up with Down by the River (1969) but I’m still not entirely convinced. If you have a better idea let me know.