Band members Related acts
- Joseph Dave Damrell -- bass, sitar, tamboura, vocals
- Christopher Lockheed -- drums, tabla, harpsichord,
maracas, vocals (1968--69)
- Dehner Patten -- vocals, lead guitar (1968--69)
- Gary Lee Yoder -- lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1968--69)
- Blue Cheer (Gary Yoder)
- Group "B" (Joe Damrell)
- Randy Holden (Christopher Lockheed)
- The Oxford Circus (Dehner Patten and Gary Yoder)
- Gary Yoder (solo efforts)
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Country/State: Davis, California
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: sharp edges and corners
GEMM catalog ID: 4379
You kind of have to wonder why an outfit as talented as the short-lived Kak didn't make it, while many of their less gifted contemporaries enjoyed massive commercial success ... Of the 35,000 + LPs in my collection, this is one of the few that I'd give a four star rating to.
Formed in Davis California in 1968, Kak featured the talents of bassist Joseph Damrell, drummer Christopher Lockheed, lead guitarist Dehner Patten and singer/rhythm guitarist Gary Yoder. Damrell had previously played in Group "B" while the latter two had been with The Oxford Circus.
Relocating to San Francisco, the group began playing local clubs, quickly attracting the attention of Epic Records, which like the rest of the industry was anxious to sign anyone in San Francisco capable of hold up a guitar. Produced by Gary Grelecki (who co-wrote several of the songs), I'll readily admit that 1969's cleverly-titled "Kak" took a little while to warm up to. The first couple of times the set's musical diversity kind of put me off. That said, by the third spin I was converted. The musical diversity I originally found disconcerting is actually endearing. In fact this is one of those albums that's fun to play 'spot-the-influence' with. My ears hear lots of Moby Grape including the country-influenced 'I've Got the Time', a bit of The Seeds ('Electric Sailor') and even a little Donovan (the acoustic ballad 'Flowing By'). Yoder may not have been the most accomplished singer, but was never less than professional and had an almost chameleon ability to handle the band's different styles. Propelled by Patten and Yoder's dual guitars, tracks such as the blazing 'Hyco 97658', 'Everything's Changing' and 'Lemonade Kid' are simply first rate West Coast psych charms. Personal favorites are the extended 'Trieulogy: Gologotha/Mirage/Rain' and 'Disbelievin'.
Epic actually pulled two singles off the album:
- 1969's 'Everything's Changing (Part 1 and 2) (Epic catalog number 5-10383)
- 1969's 'I've Got The Time' b/w 'Disbelievin' (Epic catalog 5-10446)
Neither did anything commercially. Similarly the company did little to promote the parent album; cutout copies were supposedly destroyed in large quantities, making it a rather sought after item. Personality clashes quickly surfaced and within a matter of months the band was history.
Yoder subsequently released a one-off solo single, before briefly joining proto-type metal band Blue Cheer.
"Kak" track listing:
1.) Hyco 97658 (Joseph Damrell - Gary Grelecki- Christopher Lockheed) - 1:35
2.) Everything's Changing (Gary Grelecki - Gary Yoder) - 4:04
3.) Electric Sailor (Joseph Damrell - Christopher Lockheed - Dehner Patten) - 3:04
4.) Disbelievin (Gary Yoder) - 3:58
5.) I've Got the Time (Gary Yoder) - 3:37
6.) Flowing By (Gary Grelecki - Gary Yoder) - 3:55
2.) Trieulogy: Gologotha/Mirage/Rain (Gary Grelecki - Gary Yoder) -
3.) Lemonade Kid (Gary Yoder) - 6:03
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