Green


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1968-69)

- Bobby (Richard) Blood -- brass

- Gary Casebeer -- drums, keyboards, brass, backing vocals

- Wilson Fisher -- vocals, guitar, harmonica 

- Richard Gardzina -- horns, reeds, keyboards, backing vocals

- John Martin -- vocals, guitar, keyboards

- James Neel -- brass, keyboards, reeds, backing vocals

 

  line up 2 (1969-71)

- Gary Casebeer -- drums, backing vocals

- Wilson Fisher -- vocals, guitar, bass 

- Richard Gardzina -- horns, reeds, keyboards, backing vocals

- John Martin -- vocals, guitar, keyboards

NEW - Jay Pruitt -- keyboards, horns 

 

  supporting musician:

- Kathy Kelsey Pruitt -- cello


   

 

 

- Jules and the Polar Bears (Jay Pruitt) 

- James Neel Music House

- Sylvester and the Hot Band (Jay Pruitt)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Green

Company: ATCO

Catalog: SD 33-282

Year: 1969

Country/State: Dallas, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small cut out notch along side seam

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6295

Price: $80.00

 

Hum - this one was released in 1969, but to my ears has a distinctively summer-of-love flavor and since I'm a sucker for that era, it has considerable appeal to my jaded personality.

 

Though Dallas, Texas was Green's hometown, the band's musical inspiration was an interesting mixture of UK pop-psych bands and Southern California folk-rock/country-rock outfits.  Featuring the talents of  Bobby (Richard) Blood, Wilson Fisher, Richard Gardzina, John Martin, and James Neel, the members apparently met while attending North Texas State University (at least one of the members was a music major).  Discovering a mutual interest in music they managed to record a series of demos at a local studio which somehow brought them to the attention of Atlantic's ATCO subsidiary.  Teamed with producer/songwriter Fred Darian (yes he wrote Dobie Gray's big hit 'The In Crowd'), 1969's "Green" was quite interesting; nothing like what I would have expected to hear from a mid-1960s Texas-based band.  Sure, Texas had plenty of psych-oriented groups, but few of them incorporated British pop-psych influences as blatantly, or as enjoyably as these guys did.  By the way, that wasn't meant as a criticism since virtually each of these eleven tracks was worth hearing.  They were also notable for incorporating horns and reeds into the mix, but without the usual bombast or excesses of groups like Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chase, or Chicago.  With all of the band members contributing to the writing chores, the results may not have been the year's most consistent release, but sported more than enough interesting performances to make it interesting.  The fact that most of the set wasn't straight ahead pop or rock, nor crazed psych only served to make it more beguiling.  Hard to adequately describe, but this was one of those collections that just sort of snuck up on you revealing more and more charms each time you played it.  While I loved about 80% of the collection (pretty good percentage for any record), my personal tastes ran to the band's skewed pop-psych and rockers - personal favorites included 'Sparkle', 'At the Time', and 'RCMPB' (no I don't know what the abbreviation stands for ...).

 

"To Help Somebody" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) To Be   (John Martin) - 2:52

Opening the album with a distinctive lysergic-tinged aura, 'To Be' managed to blend sloppy group vocals, grungy lead guitar, flutes and horns, and some pounding drums into a surprisingly enjoyable composition.   Not sure how the pulled it off, but what should have been a total disaster was actually fun.    rating: **** stars

2.) Where Have I Been   (John Martin) - 3:02

'Where Have I Been' was a perfect example of the band's attempt to hybridize Southern California country-rock with UK pop - hard to adequately describe this one, but imagine The Buffalo Springfield hanging out with The Hollies and you'd have some notion of what to expect.  Fantastic lead guitar on this one ...   rating: ***** stars

3.) Sunrise # 7   (Wilson Fisher) - 3:34

A beautiful ballad showcasing strumming acoustic guitars, a nice Fisher bass line, and some subtle woodwinds, 'Sunrise # 7' underscored the band's country-rock influences.  One of the songs that quickly grew on me and became a personal favorite - doubtful anyone would have guessed these guys were from the Lone Star state ...   rating: *** stars

4.) Just Try   (John Martin) - 2:11

'Just Try' found the band turning on their best faux-Brit accents.  Yeah, Blood's horns were a bit over-the-top, but the song was still quite catchy with a nice rhythm guitar figure and some sweet harmony vocals.   rating: *** stars

5.) Sparkle   (John Martin) - 2:17

Surrounded by an elaborate, almost Baroque-tinged arrangement, boasting a wonderful melody and some to-die-for vocal harmonies that would have put The Association to shame, 'Sparkle' was easily side one's most commercial number.  Emmitt Rhodes was have given his pinky to have written something this good.    rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) Green   (John Martin - Wilson Fisher - Rchard Gardzina - Bobby Blood) - 3:21

Opening up with a jarring slab of feedback drenched guitar and Keith Moon-styled spastic drums, the title track was actually the album's least melodic effort, but one of the most interesting.  The combination of discordant horns (it sounded like they were trying to take a page out of the Blood, Sweat, & Tears catalog), heavy metal lead guitar, and Gary Casebeer's wild drumming was kind of like a seeing a nasty traffic accident - it may be gory and horrific, but you can't take your eyes off the results.  Similarly, this one was an aural mess, but fascinating ...   rating; ** stars

2.) Footprints In the Snow   (John Martin) - 2:25

English majors rejoice !!!  A pretty, if overly sensitive ballad, the Martin-penned 'Footprints In the Snow' sounded like a throwaway Donovan performance.  Okay I'll admit I liked the harpsichord arrangement.   rating; ** stars

-3.) At the Time   (John Martin) - 2:12

Kicked along by a tasty little guitar figure, the compact rocker, 'At the Time' would have been even stronger without the needless horns and without the weird production effects. For some reason producer Darian chose to give the track a weird, flat sound - the first time I played it I thought my speakers had suddenly blown a fuse .   In spite of that, it was still one of the standouts.   rating: **** stars

4.) RCMPB  (Wilson Fisher) - 3:04

In spite of the mysterious title 'RCMPB' (anyone got a clue what it stood for ?), was an even better garage rocker featuring some cool Beatlesque Baroque horns.  rating: **** stars

5.) Don't    (John Martin) - 2:19

'Don't was another nice slice of folk-rock, though the horns were a little more prominent this time around.   rating: *** stars

6.) Have You Ever   (John Martin - Richard Garzina) - 3:02 

Starting out as another pretty, but bland ballad (okay the Sgt. Pepper nod made me smile), 'Have You Ever' abruptly picked up speed and energy with the band dipping their toes into Buffalo Springfield country-rock territory.  Once you got over the unexpected shift in direction the song was actually pretty cool.   rating: *** stars

 

Call it what you will - pop-rock, sunshine-pop ...  doesn't matter since this was literally a lost treasure.  Wonderful, wonderful ..

 

 

Perhaps done without the band's consent, the UK Fallout label reissued the album in CD format (Fallout catalog number FOCD2037).  The reissue included four bonus tracks reportedly pulled from their initial demo:

bonus tracks: 
1.) Where Have I Been   (John Martin)
2,) Have You Ever?   (John Martin  - Gary Casebeer)
3.) At The Time   (John Martin)
4.) Sunrise # 7   (Wilson Fisher)

 

 

Several of the band members remain active in music.   

 

Casebeer has a YouTube presence at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=cdcasebeer

 

Gardzina has a website at: http://richardgardzina.com/?section=music-group-4

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  To Help Somebody

Company: ATCO

Catalog: SD 33-366

Year: 1972

Country/State: Dallas, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve; small cut out notch along lower spine

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 6296

Price: $20.00

Cost: $12.95

 

Following the release of their 1969 debut "Green", the band struggled on over the next two years, undergoing various of personnel changes including horn player Bobby Blood being replaced by Jay Pruitt and his wife Kathy Kelsey Pruitt.  

 

Unfortunately, 1971's self-produced "To Help Somebody" strikes me as being inherently weaker than the debut.  With guitarist John Martin again responsible for the majority of the thirteen tracks, the sophomore efforts suffered from a number of ailments.  While the debut reflected a modest, but attractive mixture of pop, psych, and country-rock influence (back to The Buffalo Springfield comparison), here material such as the title track, 'Big Dipper' and 'Lady, Oh Lady' were blatantly country-ish.  Not only that, but this time around tracks such as 'Teenage Women' featured far more conventional and intrusive horn arrangements.  Finally, the set just seemed to wander around without any real agenda and without the energy or enthusiasm that made the debut an unexpected find.  Of course there were a couple of exceptions.  Even though it it sported a country sound and those ever-present horns, the lead-off rocker 'All My Bells' was infectious and the Mariachi-band horn propelled schoolboy's dream story 'She Don't Love Me' was entertaining.  

 

 

Elsewhere ATCO tapped 'Big Dipper' b/w 'All My Bells' as an instantly obscure single (ATCO catalog number 45-6833).


"To Help Somebody" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) All My Bells   (John Martin) - 3:14

2.) To Help Somebody   (John Martin) - 1:51

3.) She Don't Love Me   (John Martin) - 2:53

4.) Mary Magdalena   (John Martin) - 1:58

5.) Can You See Me   (Wilson Fisher) - 2:46

6.) Teenage Women   (Gary Casebeer) - 2:03

7.) Lady, Oh Lady   (John Martin) - 1:44

 

(side 2)

1.) Big Dipper   (Wilson Fisher) - 3:55

2.) High Time   (Jay Pruitt) - 2:58

3.) Suzy   (John Martin) - 2:45

4.) Funny Faces   (John Martin) - 3:06

5.) San Fernando Valley Girls   (John Martin) - 2:57

6.) Forest Lawn   (John Martin) - 1:32

 

 

 

 

BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION