Future


Band members                             Related acts

  line  up 1 (1969)

- Jim Bunnell -- vocals 

- Jim Burdine -- vocals, keyboards

- Jim Odom -- vocals, guitar

 

  supporting musicians:

- Jimmy Burton -- lead guitar

- David Cohen -- lead guitar

- Gene Estes -- percussion

- Jim Gordon -- drums, percussion

- Wally Holmes -- trumpet

- Mac Rebbennack -- piano

- Red Rhodes -- pedal steel guitar

- Lyle Ritz -- bass

- Mike Rubino -- keyboards

 

 

- C'Vello (Jim Odom)

- Cinderella (Jim Odom)

- Ground Zero (Jim Odom)

- Head East (Jim Odom)

- The Inrhodes (Jim Bunnell , Jim Burdine, and Jim Odom)

- LaRoux (Jim Odom)

- Network (Jim Odom)

- RoxBox (Jim Odom)

- Anne Trufant (Jim Odom)

 

 


 

Genre: country-rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Down that Country Road

Company: Shamley

Catalog: SS-703

Year: 1969

Country/State: Santa Monica, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; small punch out hole top right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1663

Price: $25.00

Cost: $13.50

 

This one originally caught my attention for the label (Shamley) which recorded a couple of cool psych acts and the fact I'd never heard of this trio, nor could I find any real information on them.

 

Jim Bunnell, Jim Burdine and Jim Odom ...  The liner notes say "They all grew up in Santa Monica, California, went to the same schools, romanced the same girls, and have been singing and playing together for almost ten years.  They are all only sons, all twenty-two years old, and are as close brothers."  

 

The three met while attending Santa Monica High School where they all played in the school band; falling for The Bealtes, before moving on to play in Santa Monica's The Inrhodes who recorded a pair of singles for Dunhill:

- 1966's 'Hold the High Ground' b/w 'Lookin' Around' (Dunhilll catalog number 45-D-4055)

- 1967's 'Try and Stop Me' b/w 'Lookin' Around' (Dunhilll catalog number 45-D-4078)

 

With The Inrhodes calling it quits Bunnell, Burdine and Odom decided to continue their musical collaboration.   Under the management of Wally Holmes, they started working with former Animals guitarist Vic Briggs, recording a series of demos, including a pair of tunes that ended up on the soundtrack to the American International exploitation flick "Wild In the Streets".   Those two tunes were subsequently released as Future's recording debut:

                                                                     

- 1968's 'Shape of Things To Come' b/w '52%' (Uni catalog number 55082)

 

Probably the best things the trio ever did, the 'A' side offered up a heavy folk-rock take on the tune that was was every bit as good as the better known versions.  The flip side was almost a slice of incidental music, with Bunnel handling the lead vocals, the other two Jims on backing vocals.

 

Produced by Norman Gregg H. Ratner, 1969's "Down a Country Road" may have disappointed some folks who bought the debut single in that it wasn't a psych effort.  That said, the set had its own particular charm.  Backed by an all star collection of studio players including Jim Burton, Jim Gordon, Mac Rebennack, and Red Rhodes, most of the set had an early West Coast country-rock vibe.  Largely penned by Bunnell and manager/trumpet player Wally Holmes, material like 'Love Is All You've Got', 'Bittersweet' and the title track was likely to appeal to Gram Parsons-era Byrds or Flying Burrito Brothers fans.  The three Jims were all pretty good singers and their harmony vocals were nothing less than excellent (check out 'Grabbers and Takers'). In the interests of full disclosure there were actually a couple of more rock oriented numbers that were okay - 'Girls Around the World' being the best of the lot  There were also two odd psych moments - 'Silver Chalice' started and ended with a weird lysergic jazz vibe that was punctuated by a Gospel-ish chorus ...  yeah, quite strange and difficult to accurately describe, but an album highlight.  Equally bizarre, 'And Have Not Charity' sounded like a Gregorian chant being sung by a chorus that had been heavily dosed.  Somewhat groundbreaking given it's early country-rock feel and surprisingly attractive.  Always liked the Joe G. Fischer cover photograph.

  

"Down that Country Road" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Raggedy Jack   (Wally Holmes - Jim Bunnell) - 2:53

In spite of a distinctive country twang, 'Raggedly Jack' wasn't a bad tune, showcasing the three member's nice voices.   Way too country for my tastes, but the harmony vocals were quite nice.   Probably not the best choice they could have made, but Shamely tapped it as a single:

- 1969's 'Raggedy Jack' b/w 'Love All You've Got' (Shamley catalog number S-44011).  rating: *** stars

2.) Love Is All You've Got   (Wally Holmes - Jim Bunnell) - 2:49

Pretty country-rock ballad that thanks to the sweet harmony vocals, was one of the album's most commercial offerings.   Not hard to imagine this one having been appropriated for a bubblegum pop tune.  rating: **** stars

3.) Bittersweet   (Wally Holmes) - 2:18

Old time country feel, or what Southern California kids though country sounded like back then.   A tad too cute for it's own good, though the Red Rhodes pedal steel fuzz guitar effect was nice.  rating: ** stars

4.) Grabbers and Takers   (Wally Holmes - Jim Bunnell) - 3:45

By all rights I should have hated this tune.  Country feel and a slam-the-man lyric that wasn't too subtle.   That aside, the tune had a great refrain that showcased their fantastic vocals.   One of those hidden sleepers that crept up on you and would leave your memory circuits alone.   rating: **** stars

5.) Silver Chalice   (Wally Holmes - Jim Bunnell) - 4:57

Just when you were starting to acclimate to their country-rock sound, 'Silver Chalice' found the trio shifting gears.  A strange, but beguiling mix of lysergic, jazz (featuring Wally Homes on trumpet), and Gospel moves, this one was odd and intriguing.   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Down That Country Road   (Wally Holmes - Jim Bunnell) - 2:45

Nice melody, but the pedal steel made it another tune that was too country for my tastes.   rating: ** stars

2.) Girls Around the World   (Wally Holmes - Jim Bunnell) - 2:45

With Bunnell handing the lead vocal, Girls Around the World' was probably the album's most rock-ish tune.  Here's what Burdine had to say about the song: "... a song dedicated to every young man's dreams - a girl in every port. The weird "horn" sounding part behind the chorus vocals is again Red Rhodes with a "fuzz" pedal steel (he really got into this.rating: *** stars

3.) Away with Women   (Wally Holmes - Jim Bunnell) - 3:01

Shame they insisted on including Red Rhodes pedal steel on so many of the songs.   Nice pop tune kicked along by some first rate Jim Gordon drumming.  Burdine's comments about the tune: " ... a song we always argued about. Was it "away with women" or "a WAY with women?" Wally would never confirm which he meant. Jimmy Gordon was our drummer on the album ... but he really had trouble with the time change in the chorus (it actually just changes to triplets - the 4/4 time is the same)."    rating: *** stars

4.) Thank You Father, Thank You Mother   (Wally Holmes) - 3:20

Weird old timey ballad that kind of meandered along until you got to the strange lyric "thank you father and thank you mother  for the water pipe you gave me".  Burdine's comments: "... the song picked by the record company to push from the album. I don't think it was a good choice and neither did ladies from the PTA in Bakersfield, California who objected to the lyrics and started calling radio stations and complaining. In those days it didn't take much for a radio station to back down. Anyway, song starts with a beautiful intro by Mike Rubini on piano. As he mentioned, in spite of the risque lyric the song was tapped as the album's second single:

- 1969's 'Thank You Father, Thank You Mother' b/w 'Love Is All You've Got' (Shamley catalog number S-44007)

5.) And Have Not Charity   (Wally Holmes) - 2:18

As mentioned, 'And Have Not Charity' sounded like Gregorian monks chanting after being heavily dosed.  It was actually an a capella adaptation of 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.   Ah, the '60s.   Strange, strange, strange ...  "features Vic Briggs on guitar and just us "Jim's" on the vocal. Religion was an interesting aspect of the InRhodes and even more Future. Wally's parents were itenerant preachers and he had some pretty negative experiences growing up, so while a spirtual guy he was pretty anti organized religion (hope that's fair to say Wally.) Jim, Jim and I had all grown up going to church (Baptist, Christian Science and Methodist), so Wally challenged us to reexamine many of our views. Of course that sort of naturally happens as you transition to young adulthood . . . and frankly it was the late 1960's so EVERYTHING was being questioned.."    rating: *** stars

 

 

Got this interesting email from Jim Burdine's son:

 

Scott - 

My dad has told me some about the band although I've had to pull it out like yanking teeth. The story was that my dad and four other guys were playing in jazz ensembles in high school. Their band teacher was a man named Wally Holmes (who later wrote and has lived off of the single "Rock the Boat"). They decided that they would put together a rock 'n' roll band, because they lived in Santa Monica and to be cool you had to have a band. So they had a band called the Inrhodes, which put out a number of singles (which my father decided that he didn't need to save (!)) and opened for tons of bands like the Yardbirds and the Doors, etc. They were cross town rivals with the Turtles and a couple of other bands, but never had that one big single that made it for them. This is a shame, because while the Future stuff was good, the Inrhodes music (we have bad copies on tapes and some from 45s) was really amazing and ahead of its time. It had the standard mid-60s pop feel, but there was much more usage of horns (since they all used to play jazz). The band recorded with the Wrecking Crew (Phil Spector's orchestra) and had a great run, but all of the guys felt like they needed to move on. Three of them went on to form Future, which started to move into the California Country rock. It was after the Byrds, but still too early for country rock to really be acceptable. 

 

The movie company that put out "Wild on the Streets" had two songs that were recorded for the movie, but they wanted Future to do them and so they put "52%" and "Nothing Can Change the Shape of Things" on the front end of their record. The second song has been covered numerous times including the recent Target commercial. For some reason, the record company decided that the single they wanted to push was "Thank you Father" the slowest and in my opinion one of the weakest melodies on the record. It was the only song my dad ever sang lead on and included the line "Thank you mother for the water pipe you gave me...". It's a shame I didn't hear that lyric earlier in my life. Well, a bunch of the local PTA's decided to protest the song and so it was dead on arrival and Future, who had decided that they would give it one last go (they were all in grad school), were disbanded. My dad is a grad school professor for Texas A&M's public health school and that's pretty much the story.


I'm sure that's a bit more than what you were asking. Anyway, I was delighted to see that you had the record, because I know realize that if I'm going to ever have this music in the future, then I need to collect it before they all end up in the dust bins.


One last thing. I've been looking for old 45s of The Inrhodes (which will be a much more difficult process, I know), but don't know the best place to look. Any thoughts?


Thank you,
Wes Burdine

January 2007

 

 

Burdine has a nice Inrhodes and Future website at: http://www.jimburdine.com/inrhodes

 

 

 

 

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