Big Brother (featrung Ernie Joseph)

Band members                         Related acts

- Cory Colt - rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards, backing vocals (1969-71)
- Steve D. (aka Steve Dunwoodle) - drums, vocals  (1969-71)

- Brian Faith - drums, bass (replaced Ruben Orosco) (1971)
- Ernie Joseph (aka Ernie Orosco) - vocals, guitar, bass (1969-71)

- Greg Munford - backing vocals (1971)
- Ruben the Jet (aka Ruben Orosco) - bass, guitar, drums, sax (1969)  



- Ernie and the Crabs
- Ernie Joseph (solo efforts)

- Brian Faith Band

- Faith Party Band
- A Giant Crab Comes Forth






Genre: psych 

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Confusion

Company: All American

Catalog: AA-5770

Year: 1970

Country/State: California, USA

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: minor corner dents

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4230

Price: $280.00

Cost: $17



This is one of those LPs I'd heard about for years, but never managed to lay my hands on. Every time I stumbled across a copy in a store it carried an astronomical price ($250 for the last copy I saw three years ago in San Diego), or when I found a copy on the internet it was either already sold, or if it was part of an auction I was quickly outbid. Well, having finally found a copy, was it worth the wait? Yes.

So what do we know about these guys? Not much. Under his given name Ernie Orosco, front man/singer/guitarist Joseph had previously played with a number of Santa Barbara, California-based acts including Ernie and the Emporers and Ernie's Funnys. He'd also recorded a pair of interesting late-'60s albums as a member of Giant Crab (see separate entries). Following the breakup of Giant Crab, Orosco/Joseph apparently relocated to Los Angeles, where he formed Big Brother (not to be confused with Janis Joplin's original outfit). Backed by guitarist Cory Colt, drummer Steve Dunwoodle (aka Steve D.) and multi-instrumentalist brother Ruben (aka Ruben the Jet), the quartet attracted the attention of  the small All American label. 

Produced by Bill Holmes who'd handled production for the two earlier Giant Crab LPs, 1970's "Confusion" came as a major change in direction to anyone familiar with Orosco/Joseph's earlier pop/lite-psych moves. With all four members received writing credits, material such as 'Heart Full of Rain', 'L.L.A. (Lubricated Love Affair)' and the bluesy 'Heavy Load' offered up a set of Hendrix-styled guitar pyrotechnics. Elsewhere, the heavily phased 'E.S.P.' (sounding like a strange reworking of The Pretty Thing's 'L.S.D.') was actually a reworking of Giant Crab's final single. Given the abundance of guitar rockers, at least to our ears, the standout track was the atypical ballad 'Wake Up In the Morning'. Sweet and sincere, its a beautiful effort. Sure, it ain't the most original LP you'll hear this year and parts of the percussion heavy closing suite 'Gravus Delictum (Unforgiveable Sin)' drag, but the performances were enthusiastic and its an album I play on a regular basis. (Courtesy of Dan McClean, the LP also sports a great black and silver period piece cover).

"Confusion" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Heart Full of Rain (Bill Holmes - Ernie Joseph) - 3:33
2.) Wake Up In the Morning (Ernie Joseph - Cory Colt - R.T. Jet - Bill Holmes) - 6:40
3.) E.S.P. (Self - Ciebiera) - 2:15
4.) Heavy Load (Ernie Joseph - Cory Colt - R.T. Jet - Bill Holmes) - 6:39
5.) L.L.A. (Lubricated Love Affair) (Ernie Joseph - Cory Colt - R.T. Jet - Bill Holmes) - 3:54
6.) Saint James Infirmary (J. Primrose) - 6:06

(side 2)

1.) Gravus Delictum (Unforgiveable Sin)
a.) Under Cover Man (instrumental) (Ernie Joseph - Cory Colt - R.T. Jet) - 1:17
b.) Puck-a-Chick-a (instrumental) (Steve Dunwoodle) - 0:51
c.) Bare Skin (instrumental) (Steve Dunwoodle) - 2:44
d.) Roll-In (instrumental) (Steve Dunwoodle) - 2:07
e.) Roll-Out (instrumental) (Steve Dunwoodle) - 0:58
f.) Climax (instrumental) (Steve Dunwoodle) - 0:58
g.) 403 Halkirk (instrumental) (Ernie Joseph - Cory Colt - R.T. Jet) - 3:35

The band also released a single 'E.S.P.' b/w 'Brother, We're Are You' (All American catalog number 5718). While the "A" side was drawn from the earlier LP, the flip side was a non-album effort.

Be aware the LP was booted in the late-1980s, though in the mid-1990s the Italian Akarma label offered a supposedly legitmate reissue with a bonus track (catalog AK 013-1).



Genre: psych 

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  South East Tour

Company: Akarma

Catalog: AK-036

Year: 1998

Country/State: California, USA

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4238

Price: $30.00

Cost: $175.00


Supposedly "South East Tour" was originally released in 1971 under All American catalog number AA-5773-LPD.  Not that we're experts or anything, but we've never seen an original copy of the album which probably makes Akarma's 1998 reissue your only real choice if you want to hear this set.   


The title and packaging certainly give you the impression this is a live set, but that's not really the story here. Half of the ten tracks are pulled from Joseph's earlier band - A Giant Crab Comes Forth.  (I'm too lazy to pull the LP, but I think the songs are all pulled the first Giant Crab LP).  The other five selections are billed as previously unreleased efforts, but tracks such as "Keeping the Faith" and "How Many Times" don't sound like concert recordings to our ears.  In terms of quality, the new stuff varies from ponderous boogie ("Satisfied Woman") to mildly entertaining ("Truthfulness").  To be honest,  Giant Crab tracks such as the fuzz guitar propelled "Hotline Conversation" and the blue-eyed soul-ish "Save Me (Save Me)" provide the highlights. 


"South East Tour" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Satisfied Woman   (Ernie Joseph - Cary Colt - Brian Faith) - 3:44

2.) Truthfulness   (Ernie Joseph - Cary Colt - Brian Faith) - 5:08

3.) Hotline Conversation   (Ernie Joseph - Cary Colt - Brian Faith) - 3:00

4.) Thru the Fields   (Ernie Joseph - Bill Holmes) - 2:41

5.) Keeping the Faith   (Ernie Joseph - Cary Colt - Brian Faith) - 0:38

(side 2)

1.) Save Me (Save Me)   (Scott English - K. Young) - 2:15

2.) How Many Times   (Ernie Joseph - Cary Colt - Brian Faith) - 5:25

3.) Directions   (Ernie Joseph - Cary Colt - Brian Faith) - 2:59

4.) Look At the Way   (Ernie Joseph - Cary Colt - Brian Faith) - 4:17

5.) My Love (Is Gonna Grow On You)   (Scott English - H. McCracken) - 2:15



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