The 1970s is one of the single greatest decades in the history of popular music. It was during this decade that someof the greatest songs of all time were written. Those songs in question came from bands that were themselves equally great. Among the bands in question that crafted those timeless tunes were the likes of: The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Allman Brothers Band among so many others. For all of the great songs and acts that came to fame in the 1970s, there were just as many that given the chance could have been just as great and might even have gone on to be equally legendary. One of those bands that could have gone on to be so well-known and respected goes by the name of Kelakos. Named after founding member George Michael Kelakos Haberstroh, the band mixed elements of its more well-known counterparts in the from the era with a distinct jazz flare and even a touch of an R&B influence for a sound that helped it to stand out from those bigger bands, proving that it is just as good as them if not better. That still holds true today. Thanks to the recent release of its new compilation record Uncorked: Rare Tracks From A Vintage 70s Band earlier this year, Kelakos is getting the chance once more to prove that argument.
Kelakos’ new compilation Uncorked: Rare Tracks From A Vintage 70s Band is one of this year’s best new re-issues. If the fifteen tracks that make up its body had never been released until now, it would have just as easily found itself on this critic’s year-end list of the year’s best new albums. Regardless of which list it ends up on, every rock purist will agree in hearing this collection that Kelakos is a band that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as its more well-known counterparts from the era. This is obvious right off the top in the record’s hybrid jazzy/bluesy tune ‘Boogie Bad Express.’ ‘Boogie Bad Express’ was a great choice for the record’s opener. Interestingly enough it is also one of the record’s shortest songs, clocking in at just under the two-minute mark. Both musically and lyrically it is just a fun, feel-good record that will every listener dancing along as Kelakos Haberstroh sings, “The place is packed and its time to relax/And part hearty with the music/When the perspiration drips and the girls shaking hips/You know you’re in the boogie bad music.” Carl Canedy’s expert work behind the kit adds a certain extra something to these lyrics. His ability to mix his jazz and rock chops without losing himself along the way does so much to make this song so enjoyable. The balance of Haberstroh’s jazzy riffs and Mark Sisson’s more rock oriented riffs adds its own touch to the song, too. Together with the talents of bassist Linc Bloomfield and fellow musician Shane French, the band collectively crafts a sound that is a perfect match for its celebratory lyrics. The combination of those celebratory lyrics and equally upbeat music shows why ‘Boogie Bad Express’ was chosen to open Kelako’s new compilation and why this band deserves a new listen and a new listen again by those that might be at least somewhat familiar with the band. It’s one of so many examples of why Uncorked: Rare Tracks From A Vintage 70s Band is one of this year’s best new re-issues.
‘Big Bad Boogie’ is a great opener for Kelakos’ new compilation record. This is clearly exhibited through the mix of the song’s upbeat music and equally celebratory lyrics. It also shows why this record is one of the year’s best new re-issues and why Kelakos deserves just as much respect as its more well-known counterparts. It isn’t the only song that song on this record that so clearly exhibits why Kelakos and the record in whole are so deserving of respect. The full-on instrumental that is ‘Persephone’s Poison’ is another excellent example of why Kelakos and its new compilation both deserve equal respect. Drummer Carl Canedy shines again in this song. As a matter of fact, it can be argued that he is the star of the song as he displays his talents both on the kit and as a percussionist. It would be a surprise if it turned out Canedy was not a properly trained musician considering his chops and his ability to so solidly keep time with such difficult polyrhythmic patterns. The ability of Kelakos Haberstroh and Mark Sisson to improv so cleanly in their respective guitar lines is just as noteworthy. There’s almost a sort of Frank Zappa feel to their combined sound. Keyboardist Chip Smith even deserves a nod for laying down the song’s non-rhythmic base. All things considered here, the combined talents of Kelakos’ members make ‘Persephone’s Poison’ one more of this collection’s highest points and even more proof of why Uncorked: Rare Tracks From A Vintage 70s Band is such an enjoyable record and one that given the right support could be the start of Kelakos getting the attention that it has so rightly deserved for so many decades.
Both ‘Big Bad Boogie’ and ‘Persephone’s Poison’ display in their own way why Uncorked: Rare Tracks From A Vintage 70s Band is such an enjoyable collection of songs. They both show the band’s versatility, musically and lyrically speaking. One is a full on jazz-fusion style piece while the other has a definitive southern rock sound. They are just a couple of examples of the band’s talents, too. Each of the record’s fifteen total tracks displays a different side of the band and its musical reach. There is even a hybrid southern rock/R&B-influenced piece in the form of ‘Lovin’ So Fine.’ Kelakos Haberstroh’s laid back guitar work set alongside Chip Smith’s piano line and Carl Canedy’s expert timekeeping make for a song that musically is one of this record’s highest of points. It is just as interesting in its lyrical content, with Kelakos Haberstroh singing, “You may have seen me blowin’ past Mars/Or caught me floatin’ in space/One thing’s for sure now baby/You were watching’, feelin’ my face/It was sending love to you/Messages all the time/Now here’s your chance to receive me/All at one time.” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “With lovin’ so fine/I think I’m gonna lose my mind,” The band leaves little doubt as to what is being said here. It would be quite the surprise to find out the subject of the song isn’t quite what one might think, too. But more than likely it is. Considering this and the song’s musical content, the combination of both elements proves shows exactly why this song stands out so brightly among the record’s other songs and why it stands among them as one more part of the whole that makes the record so enjoyable for any listener.
Uncorked: Rare Tracks From A Vintage 70s Band is an apt title for Kelakos’ newly re-issued compilation of songs as evidenced by the songs presented here. The songs noted here are just part of the whole that makes this record so enjoyable for listeners, too. There are a dozen other tracks that prove the album’s value and enjoyment just as much thanks to the talents of the band’s members and the songs’ lyrical content. In hearing those other tracks, every listener that gives this compilation a chance will agree with this critic that this record could be just what Kelakos needed to finally earn the acclaim that it has so rightly deserved for so long. With the right support, that could finally happen. Uncorked: Rare Tracks From A Vintage 70s Band is available now and can be ordered via CD Baby via the band’s official website at http://www.kelakosband.com. More information on Kelakos’ new album is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:
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