Keymen, The

Band members               Related acts

- Dick Gambo -- drums

- Phil Holmes -- vocals, bass

- Van Lanning -- keyboards

- Stan Lease -- vocals, lead guitar



- none known





Genre: garage

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  The Keymen Live

Company: Goldust

Catalog: LPS-153

Year: 1968

Country/State: Las Cruces, New Mexico

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: still in shrink wrap (opened)

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5129

Price: $75.00


The mid-1960s saw tens of thousands of garage bands trying to make a go of it on the club circuit.  To be honest perfectly honest, based in Las Cruces, New Mexico The Keymen were far from the most original of the lot, though in recording this 1968 set they were among a much smaller group to actually leave behind a historical record.   


Originally known as The Fabulous Keymen the band featured a line up consisting of drummer Dick Gambo, bassist Phil Holmes, keyboardist Van Lanning, and lead guitarist Stan Lease.  These guys apparently managed to generate considerable local attention, resulting in a steady gig at Las Cruces' Cork and Bottle Lounge.  That in turn led to a recording contract with the small 

local Goldust label.  They then made their recording debut with a 1967 single 'What Am I To Do' b/w 'Walkin' and Talkin'' (Goldust catalog number 45-5019)



Released the following year, musically "The Keymen Live" didn't offer up anything you hadn't previously heard.  Apparently recorded at the Bottle and the Cork Lounge during a 1968 performance (the audience noise sounds a little bogus to me), the set had a mid-1960s sound which was in keeping with the mix of popular pop and soul hits they performed (no originals).  With Holmes and Lease handling lead vocals, the performances were actually pretty good (far more engaging than most of the stuff in The Embers catalog), though tracks like 'Little Latin Lupe Lu', 'La Bamba' (extra credit for singing most of the song in Spanish) and 'That Lovin' Feelin'' had a distinctive loungy feel.  On the other hand, these guys actually generated distinctive heat on a couple of the blue-eyed soul covers.  The pounding opener 'Funky Broadway', a Farsifa-propelled 'Hold On I'm Comin'' and 'Soul Man' were all worth hearing.


"The Keymen Live" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Funky Broadway   (Lester Christian) - 3:41

2.) Little Latin Lupe Lu   (Bill Medley) - 3:32

3.) Sunny   (Bobby Hebb) - 3:03

4.) La Bamba   (Johnny Rivers) - 3:36

5.) That Lovin' Feelin'  (Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil - Phil Spector) - 4:02

6.) Hold On I'm Comin'   (Isaac Hayes - David Porter) - 3:22


(side 2)
1.) Lucille  (Penniman - Collins) - 3:33

2.) Gettin' Together   (Richie Cordell) - 2:00

3.) Soul Man   (Isaac Hayes - David POrter) - 2:30

4.) Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad)   (T Bone Walker) - 6:08

5.) Stagger Lee   (Logan - Price) - 3:07

6.) Devil with the Blue Dress   (Stevenson - Shorty Long) - 

7.) Good Golly Miss Molly    (Marascalo - Blackwell) - 4:04