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COMMANDER CODY —FLYING DREAMS / ROCK ‘n ROLL AGAIN (Floating World)

www.floatingworldrecords.com

Using a quote from the notes that came with this two lps on one cd offering I select ‘the irrepressible George Frayne – better know to the cooloscenti as Commander Cody – was, indeed is, one of the great characters of seventies County Rock. 

Originally released in 1978 and 1977 respectively, Flying Dreams and Rock ’n Roll Again show how the music of Commander Cody was, caught in-between the west coast country rock, remnants of rock’n’roll and the commercial leaning rock (/pop) country that followed. As the above was stirred into the cauldron. Although by this stage his music possessed less of a cutting edge there was something special about Frayne’s innovative grasp of music; he loved to entertain as the feel of adrenalin pumped through his veins. 

Among the finest moments on Flying Dreams you have “Talent Night At The Nashville Inn”, “Dreams Of Barbarella” and with generous helpings of humour and electric guitar, “Thank You Lone Ranger”; plus with a funky, happy as they come “Life Is A Carnival” that has some tasty licks from Norton Buffalo (harmonica) plus with more smart grooves, a left of centre and thoroughly enjoyable “Stranger In A Strangeland”. “My Day” rounds off the record in wonderful fashion as Cody and the band obtain the perfect balance of country, swing, cosmic country rock and rock’n’roll! 

Rock ’n Roll Again opens in a fashion Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks would be proud of as “Midnight Man“ is served, this as The New Commander Cody Band ease through the gears. While the album is more hit and miss than preferred, it does have its moments; the title-track “Rock’n Roll Again” produces a song up to its heading, and it has for company the likes of reflective ode “6 Years On The Road” as Cody (joined by brass) recalls the past. On cranking it up Cody is aided by harmony vocalists Nicolette Larson and Charra Perry plus slide guitar and more brass and a fine rhythm section on “Widow” and, with superb barrel house piano “Danny” with its warning message has him opt for a less complicated, stripped back style and it works. Superb! Others of note include “Where Were You” which on opening sounds a little Tom Waits-ish due to the piano, and dark approach prior to him throwing off the shackles and being your regular Commander Cody. Sad, because the opening had a lovely feel of intrigue and offered something worth pursuing. 

        Maurice Hope    

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April 2018

1
Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
PK,CVL,DHO,JB,LK
2
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
3
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
TJ,TK,MP
4
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
DD,GS,FS,HM
5
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
 
6
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
7
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental
AN
8
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
 
9
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
MF,HDB
 
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
JV
11
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
JSM,JD
12
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
CRS
13
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
SP
14
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
 
15
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
PJ
16
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
FCE,JS
 
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
I Need To Start A Garden
Mama Bird Recordings
 
 
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
Stax Records
RM
19
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
MVP,RK
 
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
BM
 
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
 
 
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
LM
 
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
GC,EZ
 
Sheesham & Lotus & 'Son
20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
SZ,PG
25
3hattrio
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
 
 
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans

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